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Closing arguments presented at Wasaga Beach trailer park assault trial

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The defence and Crown spent more than two hours trying to convince the judge of their version of events during closing submissions in the trial of Gary Costa, the man accused of a violent assault in a Wasaga Beach trailer park.

Costa, 42, is accused of leaving his neighbour with serious injuries, including a brain bleed, in July 2022.

Costa's lawyer argued for his innocence, citing a lack of physical evidence and questioning the credibility of the alleged victim.

"He has a history of lying. He has a history of violating court orders. He has a history of violence, and in this case, we know that he lied to the police. He changed his stories within about 24 hours of the incident occurring. We know that he is an alcoholic, had a blood alcohol content of 240 the following morning when he was admitted to hospital," defence counsel Allison Cormie-Bowins told the court.

Costa testified during the trial, maintaining that he never laid a hand on his neighbour.

Gary Costa, 42, outside the courthouse in Collingwood, Ont., on Fri., March 15, 2024. (CTV News/Mike Arsalides)

The defence added, "The issue in this case is what happened and who, if anyone, is responsible," and urged the judge to consider Costa's testimony as reliable and truthful.

In contrast, the Crown painted Costa as motivated by escalating tensions between him and his neighbour, stemming from several incidents, including the firing of a BB gun and the man's friend allegedly exposing himself in front of Costa's children.

The prosecution asserted that Costa, fueled by frustration, launched a vicious attack on his neighbour.

"For no known reason to him, Mr. Costa comes charging into his trailer, attacked him, leaves him grievously injured," the Crown stated.

Picture taken of the Gary Costa's neighbour after he was allegedly assaulted in 2022 in Wasaga Beach, Ont. (Court exhibit)

The court was presented with exhibit photos from inside Costa's neighbour's trailer, where blood could be seen. The Crown alleged that Costa beat the man and left him bloodied.

Image shown to the court from inside the alleged victim's trailer appears to show blood on the walls. (Court exhibit)

Image shown to the court from inside the alleged victim's trailer appears to show blood on the floor next to a broken chair. (Court exhibit)

The court was also shown several surveillance videos with what appeared to be the alleged victim intoxicated, stumbling and falling over.

The defence said the neighbour has brain atrophy from a history of head injuries and potentially the effects of alcoholism.

"Despite everything, he has absolutely no bad blood with Mr. Costa. He either does not remember what happened, or he is lying, and I don't know which one it is. And because I don't know which one it is, neither can Your Honour," the defence argued.

The trial is scheduled to reconvene later this month to set a judgment date.

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