Wife of beating victim tells trial about seeing husband after attack
Too sore to stand as a witness from leg and back problems, Lesley Miller sat in an office chair in front of a judge yesterday, facing the man accused of beating her husband into a near-vegetative state.
In the third day of an aggravated assault retrial for Leo Teskey, Miller told a provincial court that she could barely recognize her husband, Dougald Miller, when she saw him in hospital for the first time since he was attacked.
"His face and his head were so swollen, I couldn’t tell if it was him," she said. "His hands were tied down because he was struggling —his face was almost unrecognizable."
Miller described how her husband worked as an apartment manager and owned several buildings in the city when he was attacked on Nov. 20, 2000.
"He was a worker and liked to get up in the morning to do his work," she said.
As Miller gave her testimony, she was facing Teskey, who appeared unemotional while sitting in the prisoner’s box and wearing a black buttoned-up dress shirt and a brown dress coat.
While Teskey was convicted of aggravated assault in 2002, the Supreme Court of Canada ordered a retrial because an Alberta judge took too long to file his written guilty verdict.
During earlier testimony yesterday, a detective told court he needed Miller’s help to identify a number of items that were found inside Teskey’s home. The detective said he called Miller on the phone as he searched through the home.
Some of those items brought to court as evidence included several VCR movies, a shirt that Miller later testified was her husband’s, two cameras and a few items of clothing.
After her husband was attacked, Miller made a public plea for help in the case. An anonymous tip was soon sent in, leading police to press charges against Teskey.
Speaking softly, Miller told court that her husband was an amazing man for his age — 61 at the time of the attack — and he would love to play golf frequently.
"He was always telling me to hurry up and hit the ball, but I had a hard time trying to keep up with him," she said.
The trial is scheduled to continue until the end of the week.