Thursday, April 1, 2010

Final Trial Witness: Guy Earle was customer

Guy Earle's last supper [at Zesty's]: he paid $20 including $10 tip


It's 3pm on the last day of the Guy Earle trial and I'm sitting in BCHRT Hearing Room #4, waiting for the final witness to appear. Almost all 18 gallery seats are occupied. I recognize Brian Hutchison from the National Post, sitting one row ahead of me, one seat to the left, scribbling on a steno pad. I wonder how much he's getting paid for what I'm willing to do for free. [UPDATE: I'm joking! Apples and oranges, obviously] Many other media are also present, along with Earle/Pardy supporters and a few bloggers sitting to attention with hungry laptops perched on their knees.

I look across the room and type what I see into my MacBook Pro:
Sam and Salam Ismail appear more at ease than first day. No sweaty brows, no grim smiles. Confidence. Case is strong? - earlier testimony shows that Pardy did indeed heckle. Is exaggerating fear. Beer bottle threat very damning.

Lorna Pardy looks tired. Dark circles under her eyes. Trial taking it's toll? She was on the front page of the Province yesterday, looking like the bad guy. Ouch.

Sam Ismail calls Samantha to testify. She is a server who has worked at Zesty's for about 3 years and was working on the night of May 22, 2007:

"I was working at the restaurant that night with Brandy, a new server... I saw Earle break the sunglasses and I picked them up. He looked shaken, I said "What are you doing, what's going on?" and Guy said "They threw water in my face". I said "Whatever you do, just leave them alone."

Ismail: Did you ever feel that the ladies' safety was in danger at any time?

Samantha: No.

Ismail: Over and above the free beers for the comedians, did Mr. Earle spend any of his own money at the restaurant?

Samantha: Yes. He would usually have a meal and pay twenty dollars, including a ten-dollar tip for me.

Ismail: He was spending his own money?

Samantha: Yes.


Cousineau: Was it just you & Brandy working on May 22 2007?

Samantha: Yes.

Cousineau: And you weren't serving or paying much attention to Pardy, is that right?

Samantha: Yes.

Cousineau: You didn't hear Guy Earle talk to the women from the stage?

Samantha: Not really.

Cousineau: You didn't see Guy Earle approach the women"s table twice?

Samantha: No, but I saw him break the sunglasses. I picked them up.

Cousineau: After you picked up the sunglasses, what happened then?

Samantha: I took Guy aside and asked "What are you doing, what's going on?" and he told me they threw water in his face.

Cousineau: And what did you do then?

Samantha: I said "Whatever you do, just leave them alone."

Cousineau: I'm going to suggest you gave him another beer and said "that was it" for alcohol.

Samantha: Ok, yeah, probably.

Cousineau: Is that fair?

Samantha: Yes.

Cousineau: At any point did you approach miss Pardy and her friends to ask them what happened?

Samantha: No.


Ismail: Do you ever pay attention to the comedy as it's going on?

Samantha: Not really, I'm busy serving tables, serving customers.


Murray Geiger-Adams: When did you start working at Zesty's?

Samantha: October 2006.

MGA: How did you meet Guy Earle?

Samantha: February or March - I think it was spring - I was there when he came in and asked Salam about having an open-mic comedy night. Salam told him "We'll see".


Ismail: During the open mic comedy nights, was Guy Earle always the MC?

Samantha: Guy Earle was the main MC, but others would take turns. There was a core of 6 or 7 comedians who attended each week and sometimes they would introduce each other.


Cousineau: Was there an open comedy night before Guy Earle asked for one?

Samantha: No, on Saturdays we had the Laff Riot Girls and … Langara College sometimes...

Witness is excused.

Video Tour of British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal Facilities

Shortly after today's hearing ended, the entire 12th floor of 605 Robson street was vacant, allowing me to bring you this unprecedented view inside the BCHRT taxpayer funded public facility. It's a big place: