Son of Kelowna man beaten to death by Hells Angels can't recall if other suspects participated

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The oldest son of a Kelowna man beaten to death in a horrific attack involving the Hells Angels says he can’t recall whether two of the men on trial for manslaughter participated in the fatal assault.

Kaylin Phillips, 27, also told a judge Wednesday in Vancouver that he couldn’t recall where a third man accused in the attack on his dad, Dain Phillips, was at the time of the June 2011 attack.

Kaylin’s younger brother, Kody Phillips, had earlier testified that all four men on trial — alleged Hells Angels associates Daniel McRae, Matthew McRae, Anson Schell and Robert Cocks — had kicked his father as he lay on the ground.

Cocks’ son, full-patch Hells Angel Norman Cocks, and fellow Hells Angel Robert Thomas had earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the slaying of Phillips. The two men admitted using a baseball bat and hammer to attack the Kelowna father following a minor dispute between the Phillips brothers and the McRae brothers.

Kaylin Phillips told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Mark McEwan that while the McRae brothers were at the scene of the crime and had got out of a truck, he couldn’t recall whether they took part in the beating.

He also said he couldn’t recall where Schell was at the time.

Phillips said that his father got out of his truck with nothing in his hands.

As Thomas approached his dad with a baseball bat, his dad said “I’m not here to fight” and put his hands up over his head in a surrendering gesture.

Thomas responded by saying “You’re going to get it, big man,” before hitting the former hockey player across the leg with the bat, said Phillips.

Asked by Crown counsel Joe Bellows how much force was put into the bat, Phillips replied that it was like hitting a baseball, then added: “Like you’re going to crush it.”

His dad was hit a second time on the leg and then a second man approached his dad and hit him on the head with a hammer, he said.

Asked to describe the force of the hammer, he replied: “Full force.”

Phillips said he saw another three or four men approach and surround his dad, hitting him and kicking him.

He said he went to the back of his truck, grabbed a pipe and joined his brother Kody, who was wielding a shovel, in chasing after the assailants.

He threw the pipe after one man who went in the open window of a truck as it was fleeing the scene.

Phillips said his father had suffered a permanent brain injury, a shattered ankle and lots of bruising in an incident that put him in a Kelowna hospital for a month in 2001.

Court did not hear any details as to what caused those injuries but Phillips said the injuries meant his dad was always concerned about getting cuts and was fearful of bleeding to death.

Asked by Bellows whether his dad was concerned about a blow to the head, Phillips replied: “Yes, anything to the head would have finished him.”

While Phillips’ dad was in the hospital in 2001, his mother pointed to a man in the hallway that he now believes was Thomas, he added.

After his dad’s fatal assault, Phillips did not recognize Thomas from an RCMP photo pack but said he later saw a photo of Thomas in an online news story.

Phillips’s testimony is expected to continue Thursday with cross-examination.

Thomas and Cocks were sentenced to 15 years in jail, reduced to 12 years after credit for pre-sentence custody.

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Keith Fraser
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