Rupert Wilson

Conditional sentence meted in ‘Molly’ case

A Port Hardy man charged with the neglect of shepherd-cross dog named Molly received a three-month conditional sentence last Thursday.

PORT HARDY—A Port Hardy man charged with the neglect of an 18-month-old shepherd-cross dog named Molly received a three-month conditional sentence and a ten-year ban on owning animals last Thursday.

Rupert Wilson, 48, was charged with failing to provide necessaries for an animal and with causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal in regard to Molly, who was found emaciated and in critical condition on November 25 by RCMP following a complaint of animal cruelty.

The case raised a storm of support on social media, with Facebook pages and a petition with almost 60,000 signatures demanding justice for the dog.

Counsel for the defendant said on Thursday that Wilson was aware of the reaction on social media, and the message of the public’s denunciation has not been lost on him. The defendant  felt “very saddened” by what he did, and counsel assured the court that he will carry that stigma regardless of the judge’s decision.

A pre-sentence report noted Wilson’s extremely dire financial circumstances, his longstanding drug and alcohol abuse, and his lower average range of intelligence, all of which made Wilson unsure how to proceed in Molly’s case when the dog was left behind by his previous partner.

Counsel cited a number of previous animal cruelty cases, and claimed that the same rules did not apply to Wilson’s case, as the neglect was not purposeful or vengeful.

Judge Tony Dohm, however, emphasized Wilson’s awareness of Molly’s conditions. When Wilson was first approached by RCMP, he turned them away by assuring them that the dog was okay and that it was going to be transported to another home. The judge pointed out that this was an act of purposeful deceit by Wilson, who had his own interests foremost. The second time an RCMP constable approached Wilson, he again tried to deflect attention from the dog by insisting that it was “too dark” to see properly.

But Wilson’s apparent genuine remorse for his actions, expressed by a formal letter of apology and the fact that he pleaded guilty, earned him a three-month conditional sentence, as well as a 12-month probation order. Between his sentence and his probation, Wilson must complete 100 hours of community service.

Wilson has also been prohibited from owning an animal for ten years, and has been asked to partially reimburse the RCMP officer who paid for Molly’s initial veterinary costs of $607.10. The judge was uncertain as to Wilson’s ability to pay back the more than $2,000 in veterinary bills covered by the BC SPCA, due to his low income level.

The ruling received backlash from the community, who felt that the sentencing was far too lax for the crime, which BC SPCA investigators said was one of the most horrific cruelty cases they had ever seen.

Vi-Anne Roberts, who runs the North Island Wildlife Awareness Facebook page, expressed her dissatisfaction with the judge’s ruling.

“I’m just devastated that it went the way it did,” she said.

She said that she did not feel the judge held Wilson responsible for his actions at all, especially in waving away the fines.

“If people are not held accountable, they don’t learn from their mistakes,” Roberts said. “I just wish the laws in Canada were stricter.”

Judge Dohm told the court Thursday that Molly was adopted in April, and her current owner says that the dog is recovering well.

 

Just Posted

World Class Hiking Trail For The North Island?

The idea is getting some serious attention.

Provincial grants help communities map, meet housing needs

The next intake for funding is open until Nov. 29, 2019.

North Island Rising: Can the future of the North Island be managed?

Can growth be managed and if so, is now the time to start figuring things out?

Less than a month to go until the Mount Waddington Fall Fair!

The committee is hoping for a record number of exhibits this year

Port McNeill CCCU presents cheque to Port McNeill Hospital Society executive

The cheque was from the June 21 fundraiser BBQ that Ward and her Grandmother Lou organized together

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Excavators help cute kid who copied their dig with his toys stay “safe at work”

Carson Carnegie wakes up at 7:00 am every morning to watch construction work on his street

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

RCMP on Vancouver Island seek information on alleged ‘breaking out’ bandit

Man alleged to have hid in Nanaimo business washroom ceiling overnight, took monitors

Donor upset no one noticed B.C. school’s sculpture had been missing for a year

Agassiz’s Fraser River Lodge owner baffled how theft went undetected

Purple fentanyl among items seized in B.C. drug bust

Youth being recruited as drivers for more-established drug dealers, police say

Most Read