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'I was stunned': B.C. Crown prosecutor describes courthouse attack

The Crown prosecutor was walking with a security guard when a man attacked her a block from Vancouver Provincial Court.
A B.C. Crown prosecutor was attacked in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside Feb. 2.

A B.C. Crown prosecutor said an attack on her near Vancouver Provincial Court came out of nowhere and has left her with numbness in her face.

“I saw a male and he saw me,” she said. “He charged at me and he swung his closed fist into my face."

“I was stunned,” she said. “I put my hand to my face and I was bleeding quite heavily. There was blood coming from my face.”

The prosecutor, whose name is covered by a publication ban, was attacked Feb. 2 as she walked with a security officer to the courthouse at 222 Main St.

Another person was attacked a block away.

Kenyon Thomas Lavallee is charged with three counts of assault and one count of assault causing bodily harm.

The victim told Judge Daniel Loucks she had parked in a parkade where she met a male colleague. They then joined up with a security guard employed as part of the courthouse’s safe-walk program. The program allows for courthouse staff to accompany people through Downtown Eastside streets.

The victim, who has been a prosecutor for 21 years, said she was between the two men walking toward Main Street on East Cordova when the attack happened. She said the man hit her “really hard on the right side of my face” with a downward motion.

Under questioning from Crown prosecutor Chris Johnson, she described how and where she had been hit. Her hands were shaking, something she described as part of processing the trauma.

The victim said she blacked out shortly after the attack.

“I was in a lot of pain,” she said. “It was a very aggressive punch.”

The victim said she received injuries to an eye bone, her nose and as well as bruises and abrasions to her arms and legs.

She said some injuries continued for some time.

“I lost feeling in the upper part of my lip,” she said. “The right side of my entire face from my forehead right down to my chin was numb. This has improved but the upper right side of my lip is numb.”

The trial halted briefly when defence lawyer Troy Anderson became concerned he was hearing evidence in court that had not been in statements to police.

The victim was excused for Loucks to hear from the lawyers.