Prime Time Crime


(Prime Time Crime exclusive Oct.  5, 2005)

Grace Chow & son, Nicholas - A Civil Action Part 2

By David Marley

In case you've not heard today's news, a BC Supreme Court judge, with three sons of her own, has whacked the three punks who assaulted Nicholas with a $5.7 million plus judgment. You gotta love it! To my knowledge, this is an unprecedented award in Canada for damages respecting assault. This decision came about as the result of a lot of courage and commitment, beginning with Grace Chow and, before her, Paul Glover, a man who was himself viciously assaulted by two young thugs for trying to help a neighbour whose home was being vandalized by a gang of teen-aged hoodlums. Along the way, Paul Forseth, MP, introduced a private member's bill in parliament that led to a crucial amendment to the Bankruptcy Act that means those who would attack people can't escape a civil court award of damages by declaring bankruptcy.

Some two dozen or so Canadians have volunteered their time and talent, or opened their wallets, to make sure Nicholas and his mother have today received some measure of justice. First and foremost among them, Derek Cave, who has contributed a great many hours and his years of experience as a trial lawyer to lead the fight. Who says lawyers don't have a heart?

This case has raised a whole host of legal and public policy issues for debate.  The discussion begins anew tomorrow (Oct. 6, 2005) on the Bill Good Show, on CKNW radio, AM 980, at 9:00am. Grace Chow, Derek Cave and I will be Mr. Good's guests.  I hope you'll be able to tune in.

I, for one, have a message for these street punks: I choose to fight back! But I'm going to use legitimate means. As my English father would say, "The wheels of justice grind slowly but they grind exceedingly small." Indeed they do. The three punks who launched their vicious, unprovoked assault on Nicholas, in October, 2001, are about to discover just how small they grind. These pathetic bastards are about to get a taste of some real justice. It's a happy day.

"A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves." 

- Edward R. Murrow

David Marley is a former lawyer and political advisor and can be contacted at



Price of assault: $5.7 million

Terri Theodore

The Canadian Press

October 5, 2005

VANCOUVER -- Three attackers were ordered Tuesday to pay $5.7 million to a man they beat so badly he has to be fed like a baby.

"He is imprisoned in a helpless body for the rest of his life," said Justice Marvyn Koenigsberg.

She ruled the victim, Nicholas Chow-Johnson, 24, is entitled to the money for care and lost wages. He was jumped by members of a street gang in Esquimalt four years ago. Three young men nearly killed him because he was wearing a red jacket, the colour of a rival gang.

His mother, Grace Chow, knows his attackers won't be able to pay the huge fine. The lawsuit she launched wasn't about money, she said after the judgment. "We are here to let them know what they have done to Nick. I don't know if they realize fully what they've done to Nick. They haven't seen Nick after the incident. They haven't seen me trying to care for him."

She said a true punishment would be ordering the attackers to spend time with her son for the rest of his life so they could see his pain and suffering.

Chow said she probably won't bother going after the three young men who beat her son for payment of the court judgment.

"I'm so worn out from the past four years. I've been crying for four years and dealing with accepting my son for what he is. I don't have the emotional or physical energy to go up to these people for the money. Right now, my focus will be on looking after Nick and trying to get on with my life," Chow said.

 Times Colonist (Victoria) 2005

Grace Chow and son Nicholas - a civil action

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