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Canada 'Hit, hit, hit, hit': Mount Royal prof describes being attacked in bedroom by giant man

22:30  12 november  2019
22:30  12 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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A 68-year-old Mount Royal University professor told a Calgary courtroom she acted on "instinct and absolute terror" as she was severely beaten in her bedroom by a naked man who had broken into her home.

Janet Hamnett was the first witness at Matthew Brown's trial. Brown is charged with two counts of break and enter, assault with a weapon and mischief. He's accused of a brutal, unprovoked attack in the southwest community of Springbank Hill on Jan. 13, 2018.

Brown was a student at Mount Royal University (MRU) at the time in what police have described as a coincidence. His lawyer has previously indicated a plan to put forward a defence of extreme intoxication, arguing Brown was too high on magic mushrooms to understand his actions. 

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Brown, who is originally from Truro, N.S., has no criminal record and played major junior hockey before he became the captain of the MRU varsity team for three years.

'Hit, hit, hit, hit'

It was about 4 a.m. when Hamnett was woken out of a deep sleep to a loud noise followed by a "horrendous explosion." 

She got out of bed and put her glasses with the intention of investigating the noise but didn't make it out of the bedroom before a "huge presence" began his attack.

Former Mount Royal hockey captain Matthew Brown is accused of attacking an MRU professor in her Springbank Hill home last year. © mrucougars.com/CBC News Former Mount Royal hockey captain Matthew Brown is accused of attacking an MRU professor in her Springbank Hill home last year.

Hamnett said she was thinking "please God let it stop" as she was hit over and over again. Investigators later found a broken broom handle in the victim's home.

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"It felt like it went on forever," Hamnett told prosecutor Matthew Block. She dropped to her knees and put her hands up to protect her head.

"Hit, hit, hit, hit," she says the naked man screamed during the attack.

All of a sudden the violence stopped. As the man walked away from her, she scurried into her bathroom and locked the door. 

Hamnett looked around — blood covered the walls, mirror, floor and sink.

"I realized it was coming from me," she said. "I had huge gashes all over me that were spurting blood."

'I ran as fast as I could'

Hamnett says she was shaking in terror but knew she had to escape. When she could no longer hear the man walking around her home, she cracked the bathroom door.

She could see her sliding glass doors had been smashed. In her bathrobe and slippers, Hamnett made a run for it.

"Go for it," she told herself. "I ran as fast as I could."

Once at her neighbour's, Hamnett pounded on their door and rang the bell over and over until they woke up and opened the door.

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"You saved my life," she told them. "I fell apart at that point." 

Extreme intoxication defence

The neighbours called 911. Police and paramedics arrived shortly after.

Hamnett was taken to hospital where photos of her injuries were taken. She had broken bones in one of her hands. Both were extremely swollen, cut and bruised.

She has a permanent disability in her right hand with stiffness, reduced movement and reduced strength.

An earlier court decision allows Brown to put forward a defence of extreme intoxication.

Brown's lawyer, Sean Fagan, will argue his client was too high on magic mushrooms to understand his actions.

Originally, the case was set to be tried by judge and jury but Fagan re-elected to have the matter heard Court of Queen's Bench Justice Michele Hollins.

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