The night of Sept. 17, 2007, began as a bout of “nip-tipping,” when three pickup trucks loaded with Georgina Township youths planned to throw Asian fishermen into the waters of Simcoe Lake, a Newmarket court heard.

The violence that began around 2 a.m. at the “Blue Bridge” at Mossington Park, on the shores of Lake Simcoe, ended with several injuries. One of the fishermen, Shayne Berwick, still has to use a wheelchair and has permanent brain damage.

Trevor Middleton faces four counts of aggravated assault and two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, for a wild late-night chase, in which Middleton is accused of ramming a Honda Civic repeatedly with his Ford F-150 truck, until the Civic smashed into a tree and ejected Berwick and another passenger.

Berwick’s parents were among those who packed the courtroom as Middleton’s trial began yesterday.

Assistant Crown attorney Amit Ghosh told the jury they would hear evidence that “nip-tipping” is a local racist term for attacks on Asian fishermen.

On the night that Berwick was injured, Ghosh said that Middleton led a group of 10 to 20 locals in three pickup trucks to the docks, where two fishermen were thrown into the water.

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