The Mud Just Keeps Getting Thicker

This morning while I was checking out News items and other blogs like The Legislature Raids I decided to take a little trip to the BC Court Dockets online. This was around 9:20am. So,lo and behold what do I find but a scheduling for case #23299-1 Bobby Virk. The bail proceeding was listed as UTA. Undertaking to Appear. The offenses listed were :
count 2 ccc121-1a-ii
count 4 ccc121-1c
count 6 ccc121-1d
count 8 ccc122
count 9 ccc390-1a
count 10 ccc380-1a. Courtroom 65 at 4:00pm. All counts listed as an Application (APP)

As fast as my dial-up would make it, I went over to BC Marys' Place to inform her of this appearance. I left her a message and she checked it out and posted it on her Blog. I knew I could trust her to get it out there real fast.

Now , I left it at that for a bit while I went outside to chip ice and shovel snow. (you see I live quite high in the mountains, about the same as the top of Grouse Mountain) I chipped and shovelled, and shovelled and chipped then came in about 11:40am to make lunch. The bride was at her mothers you see.

So I sat down to the dial-up and rechecked the court cases. Nothing changed. Then I went to the completed cases and found that there had been an appearance on this matter on March, 28, 2008 which had been put over to April 2, 2008 at 4:00pm.
Ate lunch, surfed the net, looked again at Marys' blog and noticed Baldrey was doing damage control, took care of some family business and back outside to shovel and chip and play Paul Bunyon. I came back in about 3:40pm. Checked the court docket at 3:50pm online again and it was still there. Nothing Changed So you can imagine my complete surprise when I was checking the comments on this at The Legislature Raids and noticed Mary had post scripted one of her anonymouse comments. The commentor had gone to the courthouse for the 4pm hearing only to check the docket at 3:50 and find out that the case had been moved to 1:55PM. Anonymouse stayed around till 4:10 just in case this was a Fools Joke I guess.

I went into the online docket and sure as christ it had been changed. Now the timing is crucial here. Both the anonymouse and I checked at pretty much the same time. They had the hard copy which was changed and we had the online copy which was not. I figure that they must have changed the hard copy as anonymouse was walking in the door. Which was a full one hour and fifty-five minutes after the case was heard. Conspiracy? I think so


BC Mary said...

G'day, Gary E, and good luck with your blog!

There's a Michael Smyth column in today's PROVINCE which looks like it fits right into your theme:


It's time to improve justice system, not cover butts

Michael Smyth, The Province
Published: Thursday, April 10, 2008

Premier Gordon Campbell cautioned British Columbians not to "rush to judgment" yesterday in the aftermath of the horrifying Merritt murders of three innocent children.

Is he speaking about the chief judge of the provincial court, who rushed to defend a system that freed a dangerous man over the objections of police?

Is he speaking about his own attorney-general, who rushed to defend a system that allows unstable repeat offenders to be set free based on a phone call to a justice of the peace?

Yes, rushing to judgment is never a good idea.

But it cuts both ways.

Campbell's admonishment is clearly aimed at those criticizing a justice system that released Allan Dwayne Schoenborn despite a string of criminal charges, including sexual assault and issuing a death threat.

Schoenborn was arrested three times by the RCMP just last week: once for impaired driving, once for driving with a suspended licence and -- most disturbing of all -- for allegedly showing up at his children's school and uttering threats.

The police had seen enough and wanted him kept locked up. But he was let go by a justice of the peace after a phone hearing.

The last thing we need now are judges and politicians looking to cover their butts and guard their turf. What's required is a comprehensive review of the facts to see if the system can be improved.

And the main fact is the police did not want this man released based on his criminal record, his mental illness and because he had no fixed address in Merritt.

Why would the JP overrule the police in these circumstances? Why would anyone rush to defend the system when three innocent children have been brutally slain?

These questions are especially critical when you consider the Merritt murders are a tragic echo of what happened just last fall in Oak Bay under similar circumstances.

Police wanted restaurant owner Peter Lee kept in jail after a string of erratic and violent incidents. He allegedly assaulted two of his employees. Neighbours reported terrible fights with his estranged wife, including one incident in which their sobbing six-year-old son was confined to a locked car on a hot summer day.

The final warning came when Lee crashed his Land Rover into a pole, breaking his wife's arm. Police were convinced the "accident" was a deliberate attempt to injure or kill her and wanted Lee kept in jail pending charges.

But, just as in the Merritt case, the police were overruled by a justice of the peace. Lee then slaughtered his wife, their son and her parents.

When incidents like this become a pattern, it's time for our judges and politicians to sit up and take notice, not start making excuses.

Rushing to blame the system is one thing. But rushing to defend it, especially in terrible circumstances like this, is even worse.


Gary E said...

Thank you so much for the welcome Mary.

I read yesterdays Hansard and some of the thoughts going through my head were the same as Michaels'. Why was he so quisk to defend his government and our sorely broken justice system?

Another thought was why were previous questions directed to him and (not) answered by others. But he took this one and spun it. To me it appeared to be a blatant attempt at grandstanding.

kootcoot said...

While I agree that the handling of the case that allowed the children in Merrit to be murdered was abysmal, from what I've been able to learn about the case it wasn't as simple as Michael Smyth
portrays. Of course what I know comes from the same LameStream media that employs Mr. Smyth, thereby being about as credible as the rumor that my neighbor actually lives in conjugal bliss with an alligator of the same-sex.

As to:

"the main fact is the police did not want this man released based on his criminal record, his mental illness and because he had no fixed address in Merritt."

Apparently to the knowledge of police in Merritt Mr. Schoenborn had no "criminal" record other than his previous DUI. The earlier charges of uttering threats or any other domestic dispute related charges in Vancouver, had been dropped, not even prosecuted (at the complainant's request - a whole 'nother issue - see "pregnant young woman in jail in Milton, Ontario") thus "legally did not really exist.

We could argue that Premier Campbell should have been held in custody on Maui until the day he pled nolo contendre or whatever, but remand in custody isn't generally granted even in cases of vehicular manslaughter while impaired, and one DUI conviction does not generally indicate a danger to the public, unless the accused is expected to drink and drive again otherwise. Unfortunately it is clear this man WAS a danger to his children.

It is surprising that he would have the three run-ins with the Merrit Mounties in the week before the killings, though I don't remember hearing that he had another DUI that week. My understanding is that he was caught driving under suspension AND visiting the residence of his estranged with alcohol in violation of a court order.

I feel a bigger breakdown in the system is the whole notion of resolving such issues for a community like Merrit by a Justice of the Peace sitting in Burnaby. This is a major contributor to the tragic outcome. A local JP very likely would have had a better sense of what was actually happening locally, while the absentee JP had little recourse other than reliance on inadequate "official" documentation.

I have other questions about the case, not that I am suggesting blame with any of these (or the first anyway).

1. Where was the mother before she returned to the scene of the carnage. In Mr. Schoenborn's care?

2. Why did it take the RCMP slightly less than 24 hours to identify their prime suspect to the community - since he would automatically be #1 in any case - it almost seems as if they were giving him a "headstart." (and of course as I type, he is still being "sought.")

3. If they didn't suspect the murders were the result of the domestic dispute/breakdown, how could they assure the other residents of Merrit that they or their children were not in any danger.

I must say that I am thoroughly puzzled by the lack of action by police after the incident at the school. My grandmother went to school (with her pet dinosaur) to inform her daughter's teacher that she would be back to beat the crap out of her if she smacked my aunt (who had come home with swollen knuckles) with a ruler one more time for "mis-pronouncing" English words. But this was a long time ago and since my aunt had done her first years of elementary school in England and the teacher was German, perfectly understandable.

In these days, post Columbine etc., though, any incident involving anyone (especially an adult) and threats of violence on school grounds is usually taken far more seriously.

It's terrible to have an Attorney General who won't share any information with the public because it is "before the courts" or "because it isn't before the courts." Then we have rotating Solicitor-Generals who take turns relieving each other as each come under criminal inveatigation. Neither ustice nor even public safety seem to be a high priority in the "Bestest Place on Earth" under the benevolent dictatorship of Comrade Campbell.