A Red Deer man declared a dangerous offender last year has lost his appeal of a conviction for chewing off part of a fellow remand centre inmate’s ear.
Chad Alexander Kulba appealed his conviction for aggravated assault for the bloody Red Deer Remand Centre attack that landed him a three-year prison sentence in Red Deer provincial court last June.
As part of that sentencing, Judge Bruce Fraser declared Kulba a dangerous offender due to the August 2017 remand centre assault and 10 other violent crimes from 2003 to 2018.
In finding Kulba a dangerous offender, Fraser added a 10-year supervision order requiring him to meet strict conditions once his prison sentence has been served.
In appealing his aggravated assault conviction, Kulba’s lawyer argued that the judge erred in applying the law regarding identification evidence.
The inmate Kulba attacked in prison suffered “significant injuries, including blood loss, bruising and the loss of part of his ear,” notes the decision by the three-judge Alberta Court of Appeal panel.
However, his victim “testified he had no recollection of the assault and provided no evidence on the identity of his assailant.”
The assault was recorded on surveillance video and witnessed by a corrections officer, who testified in Kulba’s 2018 trial.
Kulba’s appeal, which was heard in Calgary last Thursday, argues that the corrections officer should have provided a physical description of the players involved in the brawl.
The appeal court judges note the corrections officer’s testimony was not called into question at the trial. Further, it “defies logic and common sense” to suggest a witness who was very familiar with both Kulba and his victim must provide a physical description as well.
Kulba’s appeal also argues that his failure to testify on his own behalf was used incorrectly by the judge to add weight to the Crown prosecutor’s case.
The appeal court judges disagreed, saying the lack of defence evidence was not used to strengthen the Crown’s case.
“There is nothing in the trial judge’s reasons to suggest that he relied on Kulba’s failure to testify to reverse the burden of proof.”
“For the reasons outlined, the appeal is dismissed.”