Trial begins for West Kelowna man accused of beating, leaving mother for dead

Click to play video: 'Trial starts for Okanagan man accused of beating, leaving mother for dead'
Trial starts for Okanagan man accused of beating, leaving mother for dead
A West Kelowna man started his trial today by pleading not guilty to the attempted murder and aggravated assault of his mother. In its opening statement, the Crown laid out a shocking story about the events that allegedly transpired when Barrett flew into a fit of rage. – Jan 18, 2021

Warning: This story contains graphic details that may be disturbing to readers. 

According to Crown counsel, a West Kelowna man allegedly beat his mother with a crescent wrench, drove up a forest service road and rolled her down an embankment.

Kevin Barrett is charged with the attempted murder and aggravated assault of his mother, Eleanor Holmes, for an incident that allegedly happened in West Kelowna in April 2019.

Crown counsel Patricia O’Neil said the two were in a vehicle near their home at Westview Village Mobile Home Park when Barrett told his mother that he wanted to drive, even though he didn’t have a licence.

Read more: Okanagan man charged with attempted murder after injured senior found in back country

The prosecution said Holmes said ‘no,’ and alleges that Barrett responded with violence, biting her, ripping out chunks of her hair, throwing her dentures out of the vehicle and trying to strangle her with a seatbelt.

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The accused then got into the driver’s seat, leaving his mother in the vehicle’s footwell covered by a blanket, O’Neil said.

Holmes pretended she was already dead out of fear her son would kill her, according to the Crown.

Read more: Elderly Okanagan assault victim allegedly beaten by son

Barrett drove up the forest service road near Hidden Creek, took off Holmes’ shoes and carried her to the embankment, O’Neil said.

The prosecution said he yelled “rest in peace” and swore at the 79-year-old as she rolled down the hill.

Holmes waited until she was sure her son would not return, and then climbed up the embankment, bleeding and shoeless, O’Neil said.

Court heard Holmes started walking down the gravel road and paused to rest on a piece of heavy machinery.

That’s where she was found by two people heading up the road to have a bonfire.

Read more: B.C. man convicted of killing common-law spouse in West Kelowna given life sentence with no parole for 12 years

Barrett was later arrested with Holmes’ cellphone, according to the Crown.

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Court also heard from Kip Bateman, a witness who said that on the day in question, he spotted dentures near a tree and saw Barrett rummaging through a vehicle.

Bateman said he assumed Barrett was looking for the missing false teeth and pointed them out.

The witness said Barrett said something like “Hey, thanks man,” but that’s when the neighbour noticed blood on Barrett’s arms and forearms.

“Something was telling me just to get away from there, so that’s what I did,” Bateman said.

Under cross-examination, Bateman agreed it was a very brief interaction with a person he had never seen before.

The defence has yet to present its side of the story.

The trial is currently scheduled for two weeks and several witnesses are expected to take the stand, including the people who found the victim and the responding police officers.

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