October 25, 2009 was the one year anniversary of Orion Hutchinson’s death. There are still no charges against the driver of the car that struck the young cyclist. Attorney General of BC has neither approved nor declined prosecution, despite having received recommendations long ago from Delta police for a charge of impaired driving causing death. Will the offender avoid accountability because of delay?
FOLLOW UP 1: Oct. 26, the AG’s office sent a response that included:
I would like to assure you that this matter is getting the due care and attention that it deserves from Crown Counsel mindful of their duty to preserve confidence in the justice system.
Robert W. G. Gillen
Assistant Deputy Attorney General, Criminal Justice Branch
FOLLOW UP 2: Nov 4, Writer Laila Yuile posted this:
I called Neil Mackenze, spokesperson for the Criminal Justice Branch just now, and spoke with him at his Victoria #.
I reminded him of his time estimate from the June/09 [Vancouver Sun] story, and asked him what was taking so long for Crown to approve charges.
He advised me that he was wrong about the timeline and that Crown decided they needed more information from the Delta police, and would need to review that information before approving charges. He was unable to speak to the nature of the information further requested by Crown.
I then asked him if Delta police were co-operating and if they had already provided all the information requested by Crown, and he said he believed that they had provided some of it, but that he did not know what was currently going on with it.
I asked Neil if he could check on that current status and call me back,he agreed and he took my name and number. I expect a call shortly.
October 25, 2008
- Orion Hutchinson, 21, was riding his motorcycle in Delta when he was struck by a Jeep driven by an off-duty RCMP officer. Hutchinson died at the scene. Delta police said that the Jeep driver left the scene but returned and failed a breathalyzer test. – Read Gary Mason at The Globe and Mail for more.
- Delta police announced that they recommended charges of dangerous driving causing death and impaired driving causing death against RCMP Corporal Benjamin “Monty” Robinson. The Delta police department refused to explain why it took 7.5 months to investigate the incident. Robinson was senior officer among four RCMP members involved in the Robert Dziekanski homicide at Vancouver Airport.
November 30, 2009
- No disposition of recommended charges, still under review.
May 30, 2009
- Delta Police received allegations of sexual offenses committed against a young person.
August 26, 2009
- A man was taken into custody. He appeared in court August 27. A court ordered publication ban restricts media from naming the accused but early information from Delta Police reported the defendant’s name. (Google “Delta Firefighter charged Vancouver Sun” for a connection between these cases.)
- CASE 1 – No charges or court appearance after 402 days
- CASE 2 – Alleged incident to court appearance: 88 days
Waiting for the rest of the story
On July 21, 2007 in Banff, Adam Dormer was Tasered, not told he was under arrest, put in jail, and only the next day found out that he had been charged with a by-law infraction and resisting arrest. It took over a year for the trial to take place. In January 2009 Trial Judge John Reilly found that RCMP Constables Casey Murphy and Marc André Fournier had no reason to arrest Dormer (UNLAWFUL ARREST – Section 9 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms); that using the Taser on him when in handcuffs was use of excessive force (ASSAULT WITH A WEAPON – Section 267 of the Criminal Code) and a violation of his Charter rights (CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT – Section 12 of Charter of Rights and Freedoms); and that Constable Murphy provided deliberately false evidence (PERJURY – Section 132 of the Criminal Code). The Crown tried to appeal Dormer’s acquittal but Justice Marsha Erb stated that the police officer caused the whole thing; that rather than diffuse the situation he had escalated it (BREACH OF TRUST – Section 122 of the Criminal Code) and that any use of the Taser was excessive, whether twice as claimed by the officers or five times as proven by photographic and medical evidence as well as eye witness reports. She also said it was inappropriate of the Crown not to disclose the Taser reports as requested by defence at the trial (WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE – Section 341 of the Criminal Code). Given that the Judges made these pronouncements Dormer, who has complaints filed with the RCMP and the Commission for Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC), is hopeful that charges will be laid.
The police have a lot of information on the govt.therefore it is in the best interest of the govt., not to pursue any action on these forces,in other words,these criminal activities,are overlooked just in case someone is rubbed the wrong way and starts talking,as for blackmail wages payed to public servants.
Norman, I have a full update and reponse on my site from the Criminal Justice branch.Come and have a look.
Good job Laila.
Ian Mulgrew made a comment about the RCMP having blood on its hands. This was published by Macleans more than a year ago:
The Vancouver Sun’s Ian Mulgrew believes the RCMP may have blood on its hands in the death of 21-year-old motorcyclist Orion Hutchinson, who was struck and killed Saturday night by an off-duty RCMP officer who happened to be inebriated, and who happened to have been one of the four officers who so professionally dealt with Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver airport. Those officers “have had a horrible cloud over their heads and their careers” while the RCMP dithers over what to do with them, he argues, and it’s not tough to imagine that stress leading to “self-destructive judgements.” As for the RCMP’s refusal to name the officer, on grounds he hasn’t yet been charged in either Dziekanski’s or Hutchinson’s death, Mulgrew says he can’t believe they “have the audacity to pull a stunt like this.” It really is staggering, the third-world depths to which the RCMP is capable of sinking.