Irish rally car champ charged in Maple Ridge assault

Victim remains in hospital

Trevor Harding

Trevor Harding

A rally car champ from Ireland has been charged in connection with an assault that’s left a Maple Ridge father with serious head injuries.

Trevor Harding, a resident of Tipperary, Ireland, faces one count of aggravated assault.

The 34-year-old has been released from custody on $2,000 bail, but his passport has been seized.

Police allege Harding injured 50-year-old Cordell Dame during a fight outside Shooters Bar on Dewdney Trunk Road around 2 a.m. on May 1.

“We believe that this was a one-on-one fight, which has had very serious and sad results,” said RCMP Supt. Dave Walsh.

Officers found Dame unconscious near a Husky gas station across from the bar near 207th Street.

Since the assault, his condition has not improved.

Dame’s younger brother Leo said the head trauma is so severe, his brother may never recover. Dame ran his own business – Clean-Pro Janitorial – the family’s only source of income. He has a daughter, aged 22 and a son, 19.

If Dame doesn’t survive, the case will become a homicide investigation.

The family was to meet with doctors today to get a better picture of his prognosis.

“At this time, it looks grievous,” said his brother.

Serious crimes investigators have spoken to numerous witnesses, but could not say what brought the Irish national to Maple Ridge.

“We know there were two groups present, and all have co-operated with the investigation,” said Walsh.

Harding is back in court on May 25 and is bound by bail conditions which prohibit him from consuming alcohol or illegal drugs and possessing weapons.

He won the Irish National Forest Rally Championship in 2009.

Dame is the second man in less than a year to suffer life-changing head injuries following a beating outside a bar in Maple Ridge.

Last June, Delane Parent was left brain damaged and paralysed after a fight outside the Wolf Bar, at 22336 Lougheed Highway.

Joseph Robert Calla, an employee of The Wolf, has been charged with aggravated assault. A preliminary inquiry for Calla is scheduled to begin on Dec. 7.