Man in racist fishing incident free

Colin and his wife Terry Berwick with their son Shayne who was left handicapped from an attack...

Colin and his wife Terry Berwick with their son Shayne who was left handicapped from an attack while fishing, leaving a Toronto court, Tuesday, March 30, 2010. Trevor Middleton (right) was convicted for a racially-motivated attack that left Shayne severely brain damaged and in a wheelchair. (Tom Godfrey/Dave Abel/QMI Agency, files)

TOM GODFREY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

TORONTO - An outraged mom bolted from an Osgoode Hall courtroom after the man convicted of a racially motivated attack on Asian anglers, which left her son in a wheelchair was released on bail, pending the outcome of an appeal.

"This is not justice," Terry Berwick screamed outside court of the release of Trevor Middleton. "We came here so my son can have his day in court."

Shayne Berwick, 26, suffered a long-term brain injury following a September 2007 car chase. The Honda he was travelling in hit a tree.

He and six buddies were attacked by Middleton and others and chased while fishing in a lake north of Toronto. The practice is dubbed "nipper tipping," by local residents, court heard.

Middleton, 26, was sentenced to two years less a day last February after being convicted of four counts of aggravated assault and two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Terry Berwick and her husband Colin, were upset by a decision on Tuesday in which Justice Robert Armstrong ordered Middleton freed on bail as the conviction is appealed.

"This is a travesty of justice," Colin said. "Our lives have changed dramatically since this has happened to our son."

He and Terry had to end their 17-year volunteer positions at Ted Reeve Arena to look after Shayne.

"This is a slap to the face," he said. "This decision tells people it is okay to push Asians into the water."

Brad Lee, of Community Reference Group, said the decision goes against the wishes of the Berwick family and those who were attacked while fishing.

"This decision doesn't send a strong signal to the bad guys," Lee said. "I think Asian anglers will have to be more careful this year."

Middleton, a motocross racer, was also banned from driving for 10 years and placed on probation for three years after his sentence. He was also ordered to serve 240 hours of community service and provide a DNA sample.

Court head during sentencing that the term "nipper tipping" is derogatory and biased when directed to Asian anglers.

tom.godfrey@sunmedia.ca


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