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Mr. Curran was asked by Defence counsel John Conroy to come out of the witness box to demonstrate the way in which Gary Allen had sucker-punched Hughie MacDonald. Mr. Curran left the witness box and the two sheriffs who had been sitting next to him quickly got to their feet. He stretched out his hand, then withdrew it and rapidly completed a right hook. Still standing up, out of the witness box, Mr. Curran continued with his description of how Mr. Allen had grabbed Mr. MacDonald's wrists. Turning to one of the sheriffs as if to demonstrate, he reached for the sheriff's wrists. The sheriff, a much bigger man than Mr. Curran, recoiled; Mr. Curran stopped and returned to the witness box. The sheriff was visibly shaken and remained so for the rest of the afternoon. Recalling Gary Allen's words, I thought that it was as if Dale Curran sent a powerful electrical charge through the sheriff without even touching him.

In his cross-examination, Crown counsel Jack Gibson asked each of the prisoners in turn a series of questions designed to establish that there was a rigid convicts' code, two of its rules being that you never informed on another prisoner and that when you did a favour you expected a favour in return. In relation to the first rule, it was put to the prisoners that if Gary Allen had survived the attack, they would not have come forward in a courtroom to testify regarding his muscling and other outlaw activities. In relation to the second rule, Mr. Gibson suggested the prisoners had an interest in saying whatever was necessary to get Hughie MacDonald acquitted, because then he would be indebted to them, and they could expect something in return. All of the prisoners rejected these suggestions. Shawn Preddy admitted that if Mr. Allen killed Mr. MacDonald but was still alive himself, Mr. Preddy would not have given evidence pointing the finger at Mr. Allen. If Mr. Allen had survived the attack by Mr. MacDonald and Mr. MacDonald was on trial for attempted murder, Mr. Preddy admitted that would be a dilemma for him; however, he thought he would have given the same evidence. Shawn Preddy thus drew a distinction between providing information to the authorities that could be used to convict a prisoner and giving evidence that could exonerate a prisoner.

When the same questions were put to Dale Curran, he questioned the whole concept of a convict code. "You think there's a convict code? Let me give you a reality check. The code you've got in your mind is a hypothetical one. It's a theory of the way we're supposed to act. There are no rules when you are sitting in a maximum security institution. It's chaos." As if to emphasize his point, Dale Curran was wearing a T-shirt designed by Ralph Moore that bore the initials C.A.O.S.: "Convicts against Oppressed Society."

By the time Mr. Curran was finished giving his evidence, it was 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon. It had been a long week for the jury. What they had learned about life in a Canadian prison was far removed from the experiences they shared as law-abiding citizens of British Columbia's Fraser Valley. In addition to the evidence of what happened in the courtyard at Kent, they had also heard about Mexican stand-offs in the gymnasium in which armed camps of prisoners stared each other down. They themselves had come face to face with the prisoners involved in these events, with men who carried the physical and psychological freight of maximum security with them into the witness box -- not simply the tattoos and the bulging muscles but the attitude, the uncompromising look of the Big House. At a time when the jury was likely thinking of the weekend ahead and returning to the peaceful rhythms of their own lives, they were to hear the evidence of a prisoner who would leave them with no reasonable doubt that violence in prison has its own distinctive beat.

In the half-hour remaining, one more prisoner, Darryl Bates, gave evidence for the Defence. Mr. Bates was taken through his criminal record and was asked to describe, in particular, the circumstances leading to his latest conviction for unlawful confinement arising out of a hostage-taking at Surrey Pre-trial Centre. The Crown, as part of its case, had earlier called the nurse from Surrey Pre-trial who had been taken hostage by Darryl Bates to give evidence that Gary Allen had been influential in persuading Mr. Bates to release her unharmed. In this way, the Crown meant to demonstrate that the evidence given by Defence witnesses, which depicted Gary Allen's character as that of a psychopathic aggressor, was one concocted to secure Hughie MacDonald's acquittal. The Defence had called Mr. Bates' evidence, in part, to rebut the suggestion that Allen had been instrumental in bringing the hostage-taking to a peaceable end. Defence counsel anticipated that Mr. Bates' evidence would be relatively brief. However, as Mr. Bates explained what led to the hostage-taking, he began to relive each moment for the jury, his breathless images filling the courtroom: a desperate addict in withdrawal seizing a nurse and demanding drugs in return for her release. Mr. Bates described Gary Allen as a friend who had helped him negotiate with the authorities but said he had made his own decision to release the nurse unharmed.

Darryl Bates continued his evidence on Monday morning. He described Gary Allen as "no one to mess with." Regarding the events of February 22, 1994, Mr. Bates testified he had seen Mr. Allen that morning, following his release from segregation. Mr. Allen told Mr. Bates that he had a couple of beefs to deal with, one with Shawn Preddy and a more immediate one with Hughie MacDonald. Mr. Bates said that Mr. Allen appeared to be in withdrawal and asked Mr. Bates for drugs. Mr. Bates got him some heroin and "fixed" him. Even though Mr. Bates was on Mr. Allen's side in any beef, Mr. Bates said that he went to Mr. MacDonald and advised him, "You better watch your back because he's going to come for you."

The next witness, Walter Sinclair, was the only Aboriginal prisoner to give evidence in the trial. Like Mr. MacDonald, Mr. Sinclair was serving a life sentence for the murder of two prison guards. Mr. Sinclair said he had heard from other prisoners that Gary Allen was intent on killing Hughie MacDonald as soon as he came out of the hole. Because Mr. Sinclair had done time with Mr. MacDonald in the Special Handling Unit, he said he felt obliged to warn Mr. MacDonald that Mr. Allen was in the population and was going to kill him.

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