Nanaimo brothers avoid prison time for bar fight death

NANAIMO – Timothy and Matthew Maybin were given conditional sentences during a hearing Friday.

After pleading guilty to charges related to the assault that caused the death of Gabriola Island resident Michael Brophy, the Maybin brothers will not spend time in prison.

Brophy died from a brain injury after a fight in October 2006 at the Grizzly Bar, which has since closed.

At a sentencing hearing Friday, Judge Catherine Bruce issued conditional sentence orders, with Timothy Maybin, 29, to serve two years less a day for manslaughter, and Matthew Maybin, 31, eight months for assault causing bodily harm. Earlier in the day, Buddha Gains, a bouncer at the former bar, entered a guilty plea to assault causing bodily harm in relation to the incident.

The conditional sentence is a jail term that is served conditionally in the community, according to Crown counsel spokesman Gordon Comer.

As part of their sentences, the brothers must remain in their residences at all times, with allowances for work, medical emergencies, community service, exercise and to attend religious services.

In addition, Timothy will be required to complete 50 hours of community service while Matthew will be required to complete 20 hours. The brothers will be prohibited from consuming alcohol or drugs during their terms and possessing weapons for 10 years. Neither may be in contact with Brophy’s family unless it is for purposes of restorative justice. Both will have to submit DNA samples and pay a $100 victim surcharge.

In her ruling, Bruce stated the brothers expressed remorse, owned up to the crime and were unlikely to re-offend. Neither had prior criminal convictions nor exhibited violent behaviour after the incident. She also noted age at the time of the incident, as Timothy was 20 and Matthew, 23.

Michael Tammen, the lawyer representing Matthew, said Bruce weighed all the factors, reaching a “very sound decision.”

“Everybody conceded this was an immensely tragic case. The judge got the right balance of public interest, deterrence, denunciation and acknowledged the fact that nothing she could’ve done could’ve brought back young Mr. Brophy to his family,” Tammen said.

Members of Brophy’s family did not want to comment. Comer said Crown counsel preferred to wait until after Gains’s May 26 sentencing hearing before commenting, as the matter is still before the court.

The brothers and Gains were originally charged with manslaughter, but were acquitted in 2008 after Judge Douglas Halfyard ruled that it could not be determined who struck the fatal blow or if the three acted together.