Accused Stanley Cup rioter too drunk to understand actions: defence

Spencer Kirkwood



VANCOUVER -- Stumbling outside a downtown Vancouver building in a drunken stupor before joining in with raging fans, the first accused Stanley Cup rioter to go to trial was clearly too intoxicated to understand his actions, according to defence arguments presented Wednesday.

In final submissions before Judge Connie Bagnall decides the fate of Spencer Kirkwood, 26, lawyer Jonathan Waddington repeatedly referred to video evidence of his client on the night of mayhem.

"He's so drunk he's in his own space," Waddington said, adding it appeared someone had to point out a city barricade to Kirkwood before he picked it up and began smashing windows at the Telus building.

Video presented in court last week showed Kirkwood pumping his arms in the air and smiling in the moments leading up to the vandalism.

Meanwhile, police interview footage featured him telling an investigator he had no recollection of participating in the riot after drinking vast quantities of alcohol in a Yaletown apartment that night. He said one of his last memories before blacking out was telling his friends how stupid it was that people were outside rioting in the streets.

Waddington argued his client's comments about the idiocy of rioting showed he had no specific intent on participating and was simply too intoxicated to know what he was doing.

Crown attorney Patti Tomasson said if Kirkwood is acquitted then no one in Canada could be convicted of participating in a riot if they simply stumble upon one as opposed to instigating one.

The judge will render her decision April 4.

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