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Brotherston pleads guilty to manslaughter in death of man outside Colwood pub

Nov 29 2012

Gregory Brotherston has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the death of Colwood resident Richard Green after an altercation outside a pub last month.

The 31-year-old, youngest son of former Highlands councillors Ken and Marie Brotherston entered his plea during a video appearance Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court.

Kevin Green, Richard’s 23-year-old son, sat with friends in the public gallery, his arms crossed tightly across his chest. He looked angry as Brotherston stood while the charge was read and said the words: “Guilty, Your Honour.”

No one from the Brotherston family was present in court. Brotherston will be sentenced Dec. 17 and 18.

Green was injured after he intervened in an altercation between Brotherston and his ex-girlfriend Kelly Sousa at the Country Rose pub on the evening of Oct. 8. Brotherston slapped Green, who fell and struck his head. Brotherston was arrested the next day and charged with aggravated assault. The charge was raised to manslaughter after Green, 57, died on Oct. 14.

“My client’s early guilty plea is an expression of his deep remorse over the passing of Mr. Green and the loss suffered by Mr. Green’s family and friends,” said defence lawyer Richard Neary outside court.

“He did not want those people to have any lingering doubts or concerns that he was somehow going to try and escape responsibility for what happened to Mr. Green.”

Brotherston acknowledges that he is guilty of manslaughter and that a jail sentence of some length is appropriate, Neary said.

Kevin Green was pleased with the early guilty plea, but disappointed that a mix-up prevented Brotherston from appearing in person.

“That was my big thing. I only came down to be in the same room as him,” he said. “I never met this guy in my life and he [killed] my Dad. … I’m not going to say anything. I’m not going to do anything to get myself in trouble. I want to be in the same room as him. I think he owes that to me at least. I want to look the guy in the eye.”

The loss of his father, a well-known joker, ardent Green Bay Packers fan and well-loved fixture at the Country Rose pub for 20 years, has been hard, Green said.

“I’ve tried to call him three times. They’ve cut his voicemail off, though, so I can’t hear his voice anymore.” His eyes filled with tears. “That’s pretty much it. The only time I could talk to him was when I phoned his phone, hear his voicemail.”

Before his father died, Sousa came to the hospital and apologized for what happened, Green said.

“I don’t blame her for anything. Obviously, none of this was her fault. I know she puts it on herself because she was pretty upset when she saw me.”

Green told Sousa his father would have acted the same way for any girl who needed help.

Before his dad slipped into a coma, he was still trying to make other people laugh.

“He said the guy swung like a girl,” Green recalled.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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