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Representing himself, accused in second-degree murder trial mounts no defence

Mohamed Daud Omar, 29, chose not to call any witnesses or cross-examine most of the Crown’s witnesses in the two-week B.C. Supreme Court trial
web1_03022022-john-dickinson THUMB
John Dickinson was fatally stabbed in downtown Victoria on March 1, 2022. VIA FACEBOOK

A man representing himself at his second-degree murder trial for the stabbing death of a 30-year-old outside a downtown Victoria bar mounted no defence as the trial wrapped up Wednesday.

Mohamed Daud Omar, 29, chose not to call any witnesses or cross examine most of the Crown’s witnesses in the two-week B.C. Supreme Court trial.

Omar is accused of stabbing John Dickinson in a fight outside Lucky Bar on Yates Street on March 1, 2022.

“Respectfully, I decline the opportunity to make any submissions,” Omar said, when asked by Justice Anthony Saunders if he would make a closing argument to the jury.

In the Crown’s closing submissions on Wednesday, prosecutor Tim Stokes told the jury that although no witnesses saw Omar stab Dickinson or holding a knife, the evidence shows Omar inflicted two wounds to Dickinson’s chest and abdomen with a replica Navy Seal combat knife and that it was not an act of self-defence.

“He felt humiliated by Dickinson and he sought revenge. And he took it when the moment presented itself,” Stokes told the jury.

Stokes said witness testimony and a 911 call establish Omar as the person who fought with and stabbed Dickinson outside Lucky Bar on Yates Street.

In a 911 call made about 25 minutes after the altercation that was previously played in court, the caller identified himself as Mohamed Omar and said he stabbed someone who was trying to fight him.

The caller said the knife came from his pocket and that he left it at the scene. A replica Navy Seal combat knife with a 12-centimetre blade was found outside Lucky Bar.

After the caller gave his address in Victoria West, police found Omar at the residence and arrested him.

The fact that the caller said he stabbed Dickinson in self-defence is evidence it was an intentional act, Stokes said.

“If it were not intentional, he wouldn’t have called it self-defence. He would have called it an accident. We can take from that that Mr. Omar intended to stab John Dickinson. We also have two stab wounds, which suggests it’s not an accident,” he said.

Stokes acknowledged the testimony of multiple witnesses who said Dickinson ran at Omar outside the bar and took a swing at him, saying Omar would likely have thought Dickinson was going to use force against him. Prosecutors can’t say Omar didn’t use the knife in part to protect himself, he said.

“But what we do say is that by doing so in that manner, Mr. Omar went further than he needed to to protect himself and it was an unreasonable act for him to stab Mr. Dickinson in order to defend himself,” Stokes said.

Omar didn’t appear afraid while outside the bar before the fight, and didn’t voice any concerns for his safety to bouncers, he said. He hung around outside the bar, knowing Dickinson was likely leaving shortly, Stokes said.

Omar would have known that stabbing Dickinson in the torso with a combat knife would likely lead to his death, Stokes said.

Witnesses who worked at Lucky Bar testified they saw Omar and Dickinson having a heated conversation in the bar before Dickinson told bouncers they needed to remove Omar.

After one bouncer escorted Omar out, he said something to the effect of: “I’m going to [expletive] this guy up,” bouncer Rupert Cameron testified.

Shortly afterwards, Dickinson left the bar and, seeing Omar, ran toward him and took a swing at him, several witnesses testified.

The two men stumbled and went down. They were on the ground briefly before bouncers separated them. Cameron lifted Dickinson to his feet, and Dickson collapsed.

Dickinson was rushed to hospital but died of severe blood loss as a result of two stab wounds, Stokes said.

The jury is expected to begin deliberating today.

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