Alberni man awarded $130,000 for nocturnal assault

A B.C. Supreme Court Justice awarded an Alberni man more than $130,000 for injuries he sustained after being attacked while sleeping.

A B.C. Supreme Court Justice has awarded a Port Alberni man more than $130,000 in damages for injuries he sustained after being attacked while sleeping.

Justice Bruce Greyell announced the court’s decision on Monday. He awarded Dale William Thornber, 49, $125,000 in damages for disrupted employability and more than $7,000 to pay for dental work required for the plaintiff.

“The injuries were serious and have had (and will continue to have) a significant impact on Mr. Thornber’s life,” Greyell noted. “His physical and mental abilities have been impaired. He is unable to work; his family and social relationships have suffered.”

The defendant, Charles William Campbell, didn’t appear in court despite having been served a writ of summons in February 2009. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for assault causing bodily harm in 2009 for the incident.

According to court documents, the incident occurred on March 24, 2007, when Campbell entered the bedroom of Thornber while he was asleep, straddled him and struck him in the face repeatedly. He entered the room a second time awhile later and struck Thornber in the head repeatedly, leaving him “cowering” and “senseless.”

A friend later found Thornber and took him to the hospital, where he was subsequently diagnosed with a fractured jaw, loose teeth, and multiple head and neck contusions. He was unable to eat solid food for six months and dental restoration was estimated to cost $20,000. Thornber was also diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

Thornber’s employment insurance has run out and he’s having to retrain for another job.

Greyell didn’t award exemplary and punitive damages. Campbell already served 18 months in prison therefore there was no need for a message of deterrence.

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