Two Canadian Forces soldiers showed gratuitous brutality for the “underclass” when they kicked, punched and stomped a homeless man to death in Moss Park almost three years ago, assistant Crown attorney Hank Goody told a sentencing hearing yesterday in Ontario Superior Court.
In contrast, Valerie Valen, who Jeffrey Hall and Brian Deganis attacked and called a “low-life, dyke and crack whore,” demonstrated courage and stood up for the victim, Paul Croutch, 59, not just in the driving rain that night but then again in court.
The court heard for the first time from Deganis and Hall, both 24. They apologized to Croutch’s family, Valen, their families, and for bringing shame to the military.
“I’ll regret my actions for the rest of my life,” Deganis said, trying to compose himself and wiping away tears. “My actions were not a reflection on how I was brought up or the values instilled in us as soldiers.”