Trial begins for Fort Langley home invader

A violent career criminal with a history of attacking police officers will stand trial for the severe beating and robbing of a Fort Langley man during a home invasion in April 2010.

The 52-year-old victim died a few weeks later. But accused Matthew Sherwin, 25, is not charged in the man’s death.

Instead he is on trial facing four criminal charges of aggravated assault,  assault with intent to resist arrest, break and enter and possession of stolen property in relation to the home invasion. His trial began in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster on Wednesday.

On April 6, 2010, the 52-year-old victim awoke to his front door being kicked in around 4 a.m. According to police, when he emerged from his bedroom he was attacked with a baseball bat.

His injuries were so severe that he was hospitalized twice.

A 911 call about a robbery in progress led police to the man’s home, where they could hear yelling from inside the house and what sounded like items being thrown at a window, said police at the time.

As the officers positioned themselves around the house, a man holding a baseball bat exited the back door.

An officer ordered him to raise his hands. The suspect dropped the bat on the ground and as he was backing away from the officer, he threw a large sheathed hunting knife at the Mountie, said police.

The suspect attempted to run, but was stopped by another officer.

A struggle ensued, requiring four police officers to restrain and handcuff the suspect, who was later identified by police as Sherwin.

Police allege property from inside the home was seized from Sherwin at the time of his arrest.

Police rushed inside the home and the victim was taken to hospital by ambulance.

“The victim continues to suffer from injuries sustained that day and recently returned to the hospital,” police spokesperson Cpl. Holly Marks said three weeks later.

There are no criminal circumstances relating to the home owner, whom Marks said was the innocent victim of a violent robbery. He had just moved to his home in the 23000 block of 96 Avenue. He lived alone.

Court records show that 16 months after this home invasion, Sherwin was arrested and later convicted of willfully resisting or obstructing a peace officer in Abbotsford. An Abbotsford police officer suffered minor injuries after Sherwin fled a CounterAttack roadblock. He pulled up to the roadblock in a minivan, and instead of getting out of his vehicle as police had requested, he attempted to put his van in gear, said Abbotsford Police at the time.

The officer tried to stop him, and he suffered minor injuries to his face and arm.

Sherwin got away but was later arrested at his home.

At the time, he was violating his curfew, a condition of being out on bail while awaiting trial for the Langley offences. He was arrested and released that day, but arrested again the next day for public mischief.

He got four months in jail for assaulting the police officer and public mischief.

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