Evidence debate prompts hearing move

Court report from last week's court appearances in Port Hardy.

  • Feb. 14, 2013 9:00 a.m.

PORT HARDY—A failure to appear charge generated some spirited debate in the Port Hardy Courthouse last week.

The counsel for the defence representing William Hanuse expected to argue for his client’s release from custody, claiming that a simple misunderstanding had led to the accused’s being held.

The Crown asked for the matter to be deferred, lacking evidence it claimed was pertinent to the case.

The defence objected, stating that the Crown had had plenty of time to gather evidence and that further delay was unfair to his client, who had already been in custody for more than two months on the matter.

Crown rebutted by pointing out that proceeding without all the evidence was unfair to the Crown’s case.

The Crown sought a transcript from the bail proceedings, believing that the accused’s statement at the time undermined the credibility of his current defence.

Judge Saunders, presiding over the proceedings, suggested a compromise solution, seeking an expedited bail transcript for the next day.

When the court reconvened the next day and no transcript was forthcoming, the parties agreed to move the matter to Campbell River with the expectation that the matter could be dealt with more quickly there.

In other cases, Arthur Nelson received a fine after breaching release conditions.

Nelson was in a vehicle which was stopped by an RCMP road check and the Constable performing the stop recognized Nelson, having been in attendance at his hearing on a domestic assault charge one hour prior to the check. The Constable also noted the presence of the complainant in that case in the vehicle, in violation of Nelson’s release conditions.

A joint submissions from the counsels recommended a $200 fine in the matter, along with a victim surcharge.

The Judge agreed to the suggestion, noting the accused’s early guilty plea and limited record.

“It may not have seemed too much,” said Judge Saunders of the infraction, “but it is a serious matter.”

Benjamin Campbell was released on bail on an assault charge after entering a guilty plea.

Campbell was granted release an a $500 no deposit, no surety bond, with orders not to be intoxicated in the presence of the complainant and to leave their presence upon request.

 

He is scheduled to return for a pre-sentencing report on April 9 in Port Hardy.