Baby Kaylee's dad acquitted

Jason Wallace, 35, was acquitted of robbery and aggravated assault charges. (Alex Urosevic/QMI...

Jason Wallace, 35, was acquitted of robbery and aggravated assault charges. (Alex Urosevic/QMI Agency Files)

Sam Pazzano, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:41 PM ET

TORONTO - The father at the centre of a media frenzy over the treatment of his daughter at Hospital for Sick Children was acquitted of robbery and aggravated assault charges stemming from a "senseless" attack on a former friend and co-worker.

Jason Wallace, 35, was only found guilty of theft under $5,000 for driving two other men, Nick Zock and Ken Lowry, to the scene, knowing they would steal $3,300 from victim, Yusab Abdel-Meseeh, a former pal of Wallace's, on Oct. 21, 2006.

Madam Justice Harriett Sachs sentenced Wallace to one day on top of 93 days of pretrial custody and three years probation on Friday.

Zock, 26, and Lowry, 30, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault earlier and both were given conditional sentences of two years less a day.

The judge said Wallace acted surprised by the use of force inflicted upon Abdel-Meseeh, who suffered a broken orbital bone, jaw and nose.

Abdel-Meseeh, 24, who had a plate implanted in his face to repair the bone surrounding the left eye, said "it's a miracle I am able to see through my left eye."

Wallace testified he assisted his bleeding friend by wiping away the blood, sitting him up on a rock and offering to drive him to the hospital. The victim denied these actions occurred.

"There was a mishmash of conflicting evidence on the important charges, so the case wasn't proven beyond a reasonable doubt," said defence lawyer Michael McLachlan, who represented Wallace.

"There were credibility and reliability issues with the witnesses," McLachlan said.

"I feel vindicated because I knew I was innocent and I just asked the public to wait until I was properly judged on this," Wallace said in a phone interview.

Wallace was acquitted this summer of a bribery charge involving his co-accused robber to dissuade Lowry from testifying against Wallace in the 2006 assault.

Wallace threw himself into the media spotlight in 2009 when he said he wanted his infant daughter Kaylee's heart donated to another sick baby.

Kaylee, who was born with a rare brain malformation, kept breathing on her own after she was taken off of a respirator before the scheduled transplant. Shortly after that, Wallace and Kaylee's mother, Crystal Vitelli, began throwing criticism at Sick Kids and accusing the world-renowned hospital of improper care of their daughter.

Wallace and Vitelli have since split up.

"Kaylee is doing rather well and on Oct. 21 we'll find out if she's healthy enough to undergo a kidney transplant - one of mine," her father said.

"She's a happy, cheerful child, whose skin colour and energy are improving since she's been undergoing dialysis three times a week."

sam.pazzano@sunmedia.ca


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