Army reservists charged in homeless man’s beating death
On August 31, 2005, three members of the Canadian Armed Forces reserves were charged in the beating death of a homeless man, Paul Croutch, in a downtown park near Sherbourne and Shuter Street. At the scene, police found 59- year- old Croutch unconscious and unresponsive where he was then taken to St. Michael’s Hospital where he later died due to injuries. After a month- long trial, the Crown accepted guilty pleas on reduced charges. All three defendants, agreed to plead guilty to lesser offences of second- degree murder and assault causing bodily harm at their preliminary hearing. A witness, Valeria Valen said, during the attack on Croutch, one of the men shouted “all these bums – these f—ing druggies, bums, homeless derelicts.” Beric German, who advocates on behalf of the homeless, said he was disgusted by the outcome. Two men face prison terms of up to 10 years, while the third man faces a jail term of several months.
– As sourced by ‘The Toronto,’ ‘The Star,’ and ‘CTV News’