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Posts Tagged "man"

8Oct

Witnesses say man accused in high school stabbing wanted to go home, call mother

by admin

Six witnesses who have now testified at the trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing a student at an Abbotsford high school in 2016 all told the court Gabriel Klein said he wanted to go home to Alberta, and talk to his family, in the days leading up to the attack.

Klein is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death of 13-year-old Letisha Reimer, and aggravated assault in connection with the stabbing of another student at Abbotsford Senior Secondary who survived. He has pleaded not guilty, and the Crown has said while it’s not being disputed that he was the attacker, Klein intends to raise the defence of not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

Kylee Evanuk, who was part of the security team at Abbotsford Regional Hospital on Oct. 30, 2016, testified she saw what she described as a “peculiar sight”: a man laying face-down in the waiting room on top of a large green knapsack.

“He looked like he was in some kind of pain,” Evanuk said. She told the court he eventually told her he was really sick, he needed to contact his mother, and he wanted to go back to Alberta. Evanuk testified the man she later heard being referred to as “Gabriel” was clutching his abdominal area and “scrunching” his eyes closed. She told the court the man said: “I just need to get help, I just need to get better.”

Evanuk testified she let him try to call his mother on her phone, but there was no answer. She also told the court she went to talk to hospital staff about the man, and says she was told he would be fine and that he wasn’t suicidal. Evanuk testified she later recognized the same man on Nov. 1, the day of the stabbings, being brought into the hospital in cloth restraints on a stretcher surrounded by police.

A hospital social worker, Faye Reglin, testified she was asked to find a shelter for a patient named Gabriel Klein on Oct. 30, 2016. She told the court she was called by an emergency room doctor who had assessed Klein for scratches to his arms and hands from handling chickens. When asked by Klein’s lawyer if she saw his hands and arms, Reglin said no. She testified she was also unaware Klein had been complaining of swelling in his spine.

Reglin told the court Klein appeared calm, not agitated, and made good eye contact. She first testified he was sitting upright in the exam room, but then clarified under cross examination it was more accurate to say the hospital bed was in an upright position beneath him.

Reglin also testified Klein told her he wanted to go back to Edmonton, and added his money and ID had been stolen. Reglin said she contacted the Lookout shelter and got him a taxi. Reglin testified she later identified Klein as the man who was brought into the hospital on Nov. 1, at the request of a police officer.

Under cross examination, Klein’s lawyer Martin Peters asked Reglin if she was concerned Klein was released from hospital and two days later the stabbings occurred. She eventually responded: “Based on my assessment that I completed of Mr. Klein, I did not have any concerns from my perspective.”

The court also heard from three workers at the Lookout shelter, who testified they dealt with Klein on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. All three told the court Klein said he wanted a bus ticket to go home, and wanted to contact his family.

Andrea Desjarlais testified she had spoken to his mother and she had asked he only contact her by email, not by phone.

Another shelter worker, Hilary Cave, testified she gave Klein directions to the public library attached to the high school, so he could use a computer there to email his family.

Desjarlais testified on Nov. 1, Klein became “verbally aggressive,” questioning why she wouldn’t put a call through to his mother and wanting a bus ticket, which she told the court would have taken a couple of days to get. She testified he left her office and she heard a big bang and an echo, and said it sounded like he hit the locker outside. She then told the court staff heard banging coming from the washroom and it sounded like the door was being hit from inside.

Cave testified after hearing a loud noise she opened the bathroom door after getting no response, and saw Klein staring into the mirror. She told the court he didn’t answer her.

The workers testified Klein cleared his belongings out of his locker and left.

Under cross examination, Desjarlais testified she was concerned Klein was experiencing psychosis. When asked by Klein’s lawyer, Cave testified she doesn’t remember whether any mental health services were made available to Klein during his time at the shelter.

Earlier this year, the BC Review Board found Klein fit to stand trial. Last year, the board heard he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had been hearing voices.

In January, the accused’s lawyer reported his mental state had improved significantly, and there was a change in his medication.

The trial continues Wednesday.

 

 

7Oct

Murder trial begins for man accused of stabbing Abbotsford teen at high school | CBC News

by admin

The screams of a 13-year-old girl echoed through a New Westminster courtroom Monday as the second-degree murder trial began for the man who stabbed her at an Abbotsford high school in 2016.

There is no doubt that Gabriel Brandon Klein is the man who wielded the knife that ended Letisha Reimer’s life.

But Crown prosecutor Robert Macgowan told Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that Klein — who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia — will argue he should be found not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder.

Klein, who looks considerably heavier than in a photograph of him released by police shortly after the attack, stood in the prisoner’s dock as the second-degree murder charge was read into the record along with an aggravated assault charge involving a second student. 

He blurted out the words “not guilty” both times.

The 23-year-old wore green pre-trial sweats and heavy framed glasses and looked down as Holmes asked to see the video of the stabbing twice.

The day ended in a lockdown

The six-second video, filmed by a student on Snapchat, takes the camera to the edge of a balcony looking down into the Abbotsford Senior Secondary School rotunda.

Klein can be seen making a stabbing motion. He stands up and steps back, throwing the knife away.

A memorial outside Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in 2016 in the days after 13-year-old Letisha Reimer was killed. The man accused of her murder is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

It was the first video shown in the trial, which is happening without a jury.

“Tuesday, Nov.1, 2016 was a school day at Abbotsford Senior Secondary that began much like any other,” Macgowan told the judge in his opening statement.

“The day ended with the school in a lockdown and two female students being rushed to hospital with serious stab wounds. Tragically, one of them, 13-year-old Letisha Reimer did not survive.”

The identity of the other victim, known as EI, is protected by a publication ban. Macgowan said EI survived but was left “both physically and psychologically traumatized.”

About a dozen people sat in the courtroom, and one young woman walked out before the video of the stabbing was played.

In order to establish that he was not criminally responsible for his actions, the onus will fall on Klein to prove he was either unable to appreciate his actions or that he didn’t know what he was doing was wrong.

‘He was very matter of fact’

Macgowan began explaning the Crown’s evidence by laying out the sequence of events that took place in the hours and days before the attack, starting with Klein’s appearance two days earlier at the Huntingdon Border crossing in Abbotsford.

A Canada Border Services Agency officer was among the first witnesses. Krysten Montague was on duty when U.S. border patrol officers brought Klein in for crossing the border illegally.

Abbotsford Senior Secondary became a crime scene in November of 2016 after Gabriel Klein stabbed two girls, killing one. He is arguing that he should be held not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Montague said he claimed to have been looking for work on a farm when he accidentally strayed across the line. He was clean cut and made eye contact but had no identity papers. 

She said he claimed to have come to Vancouver from Alberta to visit cousins. He was homeless.

“He was very matter of fact in answering the questions,” Montague said.

“He seemed well spoken, He didn’t seem nervous. He was not uncomfortable with the situation.”

Montague said Klein was allowed to leave after about 20 minutes. She said she offered to help him find a place in a local homeless shelter. She said she later saw him walking along the road in town.

Pronounced dead at 3:05 p.m.

According to the Crown, Klein was later admitted to the emergency room of an Abbotsford hospital where he was treated, released and directed to a homeless shelter where he spent the next two nights.

The day before the stabbings, video cameras caught Klein going in and out of the local library, which was directly connected to the high school at the time. He could be seen talking to a woman as she exited.

A makeshift memorials appeared at Abbotsford Senior Secondary in the days after Letisha Reimer died of stab wounds. The man who stabbed her is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court. (CBC)

Macgowan said police tracked Klein’s movements through a series of CCTV cameras on the last day of Letisha Reimer’s life.

He could be seen walking into a liquor store and slipping two bottles of rum into his camouflage backpack. And minutes later, a camera found him walking through the parking lot on his way to the sporting goods store, Cabela’s.

Holmes and the people in the public gallery watched security video from Cabela’s, which showed Klein calmly walking to the hunting section and picking up a Buck knife. He walked out of the store without paying, box in his hand.

The same knife was entered into evidence by the lead homicide investigator in the case. He held the box at an angle so the judge could see the weapon inside.

In all of the videos leading up to the attack, Klein appears calm, walks determinedly and occasionally interacts with store clerks.

Macgowan also introduced a video taken by police in the hours after the attack in the high school.

The rotunda where the stabbings took place was by then empty of students, papers strewn on the ground alongside Klein’s backpack. Yellow police tape hung from the handrails and a video screen still displayed a message to students.

Letisha Reimer was pronounced dead of blood loss at 3:05 p.m. Nov. 1 — hours before police filmed the aftermath of the attack that killed her.

She was stabbed 14 times. Macgowan said it was an admitted fact that Klein caused every one of her wounds.

1Oct

Transit Police issue arrest warrant for man wanted in 2 violent robberies | CBC News

by admin

An arrest warrant has been issued for a man wanted in connection with two violent chokings and robberies.

Police say suspect Andrew Krizmanits, 42, may be headed to, or currently in, Eastern Canada or possibly the Sunshine Coast.

Krizmanits, of no fixed address, is well known to police. He has been charged with two counts of robbery and two counts of attempting to choke to overcome resistance.

On the morning of Aug. 18, police allege Krizmanits approached a 45-year-old man riding a bus headed toward the Marine Drive Canada Line station. According to police, he befriended the man, followed him off the bus, asked him for a cigarette and when the victim refused, tackled him and placed him in a headlock until he lost consciousness.

CCTV at Vancouver’s Stadium SkyTrain Station recorded a suspect before he is alleged to have taken part in a violent robbery. Transit Police say the man is responsible for two thefts in which he put his victims in a headlock, choking them until they were unconscious. 0:17

Upon regaining consciousness, the suspect asked the victim to buy him a drink at the Marine Drive Canada Line Station store, but when the victim entered the store, police say Krizmanits stole his phone and fled on the train.

Police say the second robbery occurred late on Aug. 20 when Krizmanits started a conversation with a 26-year-old man at the Stadium SkyTrain Station.

He grabbed the man when he tried to leave, placed him in a headlock and choked him until he was unconscious before stealing his wallet and credit cards .

Metro Vancouver Transit Police say they are “very concerned by the level of violence Krizmanits is willing to use.”

He is described as a Caucasian or Indigenous man, between five feet eight inches and five feet 10 inches tall with a stocky build and short brown hair.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to contact Transit Police at 604-515-8300 or text them using code 87-77-77 and refer to file 2019-15236.

 

30Sep

Search continues for 74-year-old Kelowna man missing since Thursday | CBC News

by admin

The search continues for a 74-year-old Kelowna, B.C., man who went missing on Thursday.

Gordon Solloway left home in the morning and was headed to the James Lake area, about 25 kilometres east of the city, to sight his rifle. He was expected home by noon.

Kevin Birnie of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue said Solloway’s truck was seen on a security camera in a rural area east of Kelowna.

“A local resident had captured some images of his vehicle going up into the Goudie [Road] area,” said Kevin Birnie of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue. “That is the only evidence we have to support that he is in that area.”

Gordon Solloway was seen in this image captured at a gas station in Rutland shortly after he left home. He was driving a 2012 Dodge Ram with a B.C. licence plate HM3 670. (RCMP)

Searchers on foot, in ATVs and in helicopters have failed to turn up any trace of the man.

Solloway was driving a silver 2012 Dodge Ram 1500, with B.C. licence plate HM3 670. 

He is described as white, five foot nine inches tall, weighing 250 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. 

Solloway has mobility issues and uses a cane. 

Vernon Search and Rescue, Pentiction Search and Rescue and the RCMP are also helping in the search. 

25Sep

‘There was a lot of blood’: Trial begins for man accused of murdering Vancouver couple

by admin

Warning: This story contains content some readers may find disturbing.

A man accused of killing a Vancouver couple in their Marpole home two years ago is now on trial for first-degree murder. Rocky Rambo Wei Nam Kam has pleaded not guilty in the deaths of 68-year-old Richard Jones and his wife, 65-year-old Dianna Mah-Jones.

The couple’s bodies were found on Sept. 27, 2017. Prosecutor Daniel Mulligan told the court in an opening statement the Crown contends the pair were violently killed on the previous evening.

“The Crown will argue that the evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Kam was the killer, and that these killings were the result of planning and deliberation,” Mulligan said.

Mulligan told the court when Mah-Jones, a highly-respected occupational therapist, did not show up for work at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, a sales representative for a mobility equipment company offered to stop by her home and check in.

Anthony Purcell testified when he went to the house, he noticed a knife on the ground and a hatchet that appeared to have blood on it. He told the court when there was no answer at the front door, he went around the back and saw the back door was open behind the screen door. He testified he also noticed a bloody shoeprint on the step.

“So I banged on the door…and yelled out for Dianna, and just said, ‘Dianna, it’s Anthony, I’m here to check on you, is everything OK?’” Purcell told the court. He testified when he didn’t get an answer, he went inside and saw more bloody footprints. He told the court he went towards the kitchen.

“There was a lot of blood, and there was obvious signs of struggle,” Purcell said. He testified he went outside and called 911, then stayed at the house until police arrived. He told the court he did not see anyone leaving the house while waiting for the officers to show up.

The court also heard from a former newspaper delivery person, Regan Tse, who testified he had spotted the knife and hatchet at the home earlier that morning. He told the court he had also met Jones before when he came out to get the paper, and the last time he saw him he was using a walker.

Mulligan told the court police found the bodies of Jones and Mah-Jones in the shower, and both had “cut-marks” on them. He expects a forensic pathologist will testify Jones’s death was caused by multiple sharp force injuries, including stab and slash wounds. He told the court he expects they’ll hear the doctor documented approximately 103 such injuries.

“Crown will argue that Mr. Jones was the victim of a prolonged, yet controlled attack in his kitchen,” Mulligan said.

Mulligan told the court the evidence suggests Mah-Jones was attacked when she returned home, and added they will hear evidence the cause of her death was blood loss from a laceration to the carotid artery.

“She was dragged to the kitchen where her throat was cut,” Mulligan said, adding that Mah-Jones also had injuries suggesting she had possibly struggled.

Mulligan told the court police discovered a hatchet with the same bar code had been purchased at a Canadian Tire on Sept. 13, along with other items, and the sale was recorded on security camera. That video has not yet been entered into evidence.

Mulligan said he also expected a forensic witness would testify Kam’s DNA profile matched one generated from the fingernails on Mah-Jones’s left hand, as well as from swabs from the knife found in the yard.

Mulligan told the court Kam was living less than a kilometre away from the couple, and Crown will argue he was captured on video in the neighbourhood.

Mulligan also said the Crown has no evidence of any relationship or connection between the accused and the victims. He told the court the Crown’s theory is Kam purchased the axe and other items “specifically to use to kill someone.”

“There is no evidence as to when or why Mr. Kam targeted Mr. Jones. However the Crown will argue the purchase of the items used in the killing, along with the manner in which the victims were killed, is evidence upon which the court can conclude that these killings were the result of planning and deliberation,” Mulligan said.

The court also heard from a former neighbour of Mah-Jones and Jones, Emma Greenhalgh, who testified she saw a Kia Soul drive off after being parked outside the couple’s house on the evening of Sept. 26. She told the court Mah-Jones drove that kind of vehicle, and said it was very unusual for her to leave at that time of night, and added her neighbour usually parked in the garage. She testified she did not see anybody get in, but it appeared there was only one person in the vehicle.

Mulligan told the court Mah-Jones’s vehicle was not located near her home, but was found the next day, and added the keys were found in a flower bed.

Greenhalgh also testified Jones and Mah-Jones had a suite in the basement they rented as an Airbnb. When asked by crown if she recognized Kam as he sat in the courtroom, Greenhalgh said she did not.

The defence has not yet presented its case. The trial continues Thursday.

Warning: Graphic content. CTV News Vancouver’s Maria Weisgarber is covering the case live from court. Follow along below.

11Sep

‘Everybody deserves a shot’: Job offers more than a paycheque to man with Down syndrome | CBC News

by admin

Brion Kurbis-Edwards knows exactly what he wants to do with the money he makes from his job clearing trays and cleaning tables at the Lonsdale Quay Market.

He wants to see his “favourite superstars” in concert: Nickelback, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

Kurbis-Edwards has Down syndrome. And, at 24, this job marks the first time he’s been paid for his work.

Kurbis-Edwards’ complex medical needs and the stigmas associated with his cognitive disability made it difficult for him to find paid work. Paired with his low self-confidence — which sometimes escalates into panic attacks — it was a bumpy road to paid employment.

Until he met with Amanda Meyers.

“I think it’s really important that everyone has a place in the community where they can show their strengths and abilities,” said Meyers, who is Kurbis-Edwards’ employment specialist at WorkBC.

Amanda Meyers provides Brion Kurbis-Edwards with job coaching, teaching him his workplace responsibilities. (CBC News/Tristan Le Rudulier)

Seven months after meeting Meyers, Kurbis-Edwards was hired by the facilities management company Dexterra at Lonsdale Quay.

“Amanda helped me,” said Kurbis-Edwards. “She helped me find my job.”

In Canada, the employment rate for people with disabilities varies greatly depending on the severity of the condition, with 76 per cent of people with mild disabilities finding employment, according to Statistics Canada’s most recent numbers. But that figure drops to 31 per cent if the disability is severe.

The path to employment

When Kurbis-Edwards first met with Meyers, she says he was shy and reserved.

“I think that’s just because he faced a lot of challenges getting into the employment market,” Meyers said.

The first task was to identify what type of settings and work would be a good fit for him. 

That part was easy — he loves football and has a season’s pass for the BC Lions. Now he volunteers with the team, handing out programs. 

“I love the touchdowns,” Kurbis-Edwards said.

Along with his paid job, Brion Kurbis-Edwards also volunteers with the BC Lions. (Submitted by Amanda Meyers)

At the same time, he began trial shifts with Dexterra, where he was eventually hired.

“Now, he’s more confident than ever and his sense of humour is really coming out,” Meyers said.

“That’s what I really love to see, when someone really finds something that’s meaningful for them.”

As part of the job training, Meyers coaches Kurbis-Edwards on-site. She takes him step-by-step through his responsibilities. As he becomes more comfortable and confident, Meyers will “fade out” so he no longer relies on her and can work independently.

She says this helps develop a sense of confidence and belonging.

Inclusive hiring a benefit, not a burden

In today’s digital era, Meyers says the job market presents a number of hurdles for people with disabilities. Most jobs are listed online and followed up by an in-person interview, which, she says, is a process that sets up people with disabilities for failure.

“Our clients are better when they are able to show their abilities,” Meyers said.

Along with the difficulties of the traditional hiring process, she says there’s a stigma surrounding people with disabilities; there’s a preconceived notion that they are a burden for the employer, which she says couldn’t be further from the truth. 

“Inclusive hiring is really beneficial for the employer and the individual. We customize jobs to fill specific needs,” said Meyers, adding that, when it’s a good fit, employees with disabilities tend to stay in their jobs longer.

“Companies don’t have to re-hire and re-train employees every month.”

Tina Hustins, who is Kurbis-Edwards’ boss at Dexterra, agrees.

Brion Kurbis-Edwards jokes around with his boss Tina Hustins as they work at the Lonsdale Quay Market. (CBC News/Tristan Le Rudulier)

She says his hard work, eagerness to learn and happy attitude make him a valuable hire.

“I’m ecstatic that I’m seeing him progress. You’re giving someone a chance to see that they can do what other people do,” said Hustins.

“Everybody deserves a shot.”

27Aug

Human rights complaint dismissed after man with sex addiction banned from yoga studio

by admin

A man who says he has a sex addiction had his human rights complaint dismissed after alleging he was discriminated against when he was banned from a White Rock yoga studio.

According to a BC Human Rights Tribunal application to dismiss, Erik Rutherford said he attended classes at Westcoast Hot Yoga for over 10 years. When he asked for coaching services from one of the studio’s employees who has her own outside business, however, he was turned down. 

Background in the dismissal application says Rutherford had told the coach “he was seeking help with sex addiction,” but the coach said this wasn’t her field of expertise. He also opened up to other staff about his former experiences with addiction.

Rutherford added that he had reached out to the coach “out of trust as she had offered her health coaching business to me as she had male clients from our studio, but admittedly I contacted her partly due to my mental disability as she is an attractive healthy woman.”

After asking for coaching help and telling staff about his addiction background, Rutherford alleges he was discriminated against by staff, saying they looked at him differently, gossiped about him and eventually wouldn’t let him take yoga classes at the studio. 

The yoga studio, however, said their decision to not allow Rutherford to attend classes anymore had nothing to do with his mental health. 

Instead, Westcoast told the tribunal that Rutherford “began phoning, texting and emailing Westcoast staff at all hours, making staff and some clients uncomfortable,” after his coaching request was denied. 

The yoga studio went on to say that the reason he was asked to practice somewhere else was because he didn’t “stop harassing (them) with emails and false accusations against teachers.” The yoga studio even went so far as to speak to police for help. 

Tribunal documents show that, on May 13, 2018, Rutherford sent an email to the yoga studio, stating he had talked to his 12-step advisor about the situation. 

“My main thing is alcohol but only on vacation,” the email said. “My main issue is internet or cyber pornography that is not related to the studio. If I am paying for yoga, kindly tell your instructors to not silently judge.”

The next day, Rutherford attended a yoga class and later that afternoon, got an email response from the studio. 

“I have had some very upset conversations this morning from my staff, in regards to voice messages left late last night and also teachers receiving messages from you late last night,” the email to Rutherford said. 

“On Saturday I did have a lady concerned about you staring constantly in class … it makes people very uncomfortable, and your constant approaching (the coach) at all hours, and sharing your personal issues has made her and some other staff after your message very uncomfortable.”

The email went on to say that Rutherford’s recently purchased class pass would be refunded. 

“Please do not send any further messages to all these parties, or there will need to have the police involved,” the email said. 

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has the authority to apply for a complaint to be dismissed before it goes to a hearing, particularly if the tribunal member feels the complaint doesn’t “warrant the time or expense of a hearing.” In this case, tribunal member Emily Ohler explained she did not think Rutherford’s complaint would succeed. 

Rutherford responded, saying his “disease is spiritual, mental, physical and social and financially void disease with many different facets and can easily display itself in sexual manifestations especially when abstaining from drugs and alcohol.” 

He went on to say he hasn’t “used the dangerous chemicals since early 2003.”

However, when Rutherford spoke to a doctor to get a diagnosis for his mental health issues and submit a letter to the tribunal, the doctor did not supply a diagnosis. Instead, wrote that Rutherford “does not always recognize personal boundaries,” adding that “he was more likely barred because of some behaviour that either annoyed, scared or offended an instructor.”

In her decision, Ohler said she was “reasonably certain” the yoga studio would be able to prove in a hearing “that continuing to allow Mr. Rutherford to practice yoga at its studio in the circumstances would constitute undue hardship.” 

27Aug

Man with sex addiction banned from yoga studio; human rights complaint dismissed

by admin

A man who says he has a sex addiction had his human rights complaint dismissed after alleging he was discriminated against when he was banned from a White Rock yoga studio.

According to a BC Human Rights Tribunal application to dismiss, Erik Rutherford said he attended classes at Westcoast Hot Yoga for over 10 years. When he asked for coaching services from one of the studio’s employees who has her own outside business, however, he was turned down. 

Background in the dismissal application says Rutherford had told the coach “he was seeking help with sex addiction,” but the coach said this wasn’t her field of expertise. He also opened up to other staff about his former experiences with addiction.

Rutherford added that he had reached out to the coach “out of trust as she had offered her health coaching business to me as she had male clients from our studio, but admittedly I contacted her partly due to my mental disability as she is an attractive healthy woman.”

After asking for coaching help and telling staff about his addiction background, Rutherford alleges he was discriminated against by staff, saying they looked at him differently, gossiped about him and eventually wouldn’t let him take yoga classes at the studio. 

The yoga studio, however, said their decision to not allow Rutherford to attend classes anymore had nothing to do with his mental health. 

Instead, Westcoast told the tribunal that Rutherford “began phoning, texting and emailing Westcoast staff at all hours, making staff and some clients uncomfortable,” after his coaching request was denied. 

The yoga studio went on to say that the reason he was asked to practice somewhere else was because he didn’t “stop harassing (them) with emails and false accusations against teachers.” The yoga studio even went so far as to speak to police for help. 

Tribunal documents show that, on May 13, 2018, Rutherford sent an email to the yoga studio, stating he had talked to his 12-step advisor about the situation. 

“My main thing is alcohol but only on vacation,” the email said. “My main issue is internet or cyber pornography that is not related to the studio. If I am paying for yoga, kindly tell your instructors to not silently judge.”

The next day, Rutherford attended a yoga class and later that afternoon, got an email response from the studio. 

“I have had some very upset conversations this morning from my staff, in regards to voice messages left late last night and also teachers receiving messages from you late last night,” the email to Rutherford said. 

“On Saturday I did have a lady concerned about you staring constantly in class … it makes people very uncomfortable, and your constant approaching (the coach) at all hours, and sharing your personal issues has made her and some other staff after your message very uncomfortable.”

The email went on to say that Rutherford’s recently purchased class pass would be refunded. 

“Please do not send any further messages to all these parties, or there will need to have the police involved,” the email said. 

The BC Human Rights Tribunal has the authority to apply for a complaint to be dismissed before it goes to a hearing, particularly if the tribunal member feels the complaint doesn’t “warrant the time or expense of a hearing.” In this case, tribunal member Emily Ohler explained she did not think Rutherford’s complaint would succeed. 

Rutherford responded, saying his “disease is spiritual, mental, physical and social and financially void disease with many different facets and can easily display itself in sexual manifestations especially when abstaining from drugs and alcohol.” 

He went on to say he hasn’t “used the dangerous chemicals since early 2003.”

However, when Rutherford spoke to a doctor to get a diagnosis for his mental health issues and submit a letter to the tribunal, the doctor did not supply a diagnosis. Instead, wrote that Rutherford “does not always recognize personal boundaries,” adding that “he was more likely barred because of some behaviour that either annoyed, scared or offended an instructor.”

In her decision, Ohler said she was “reasonably certain” the yoga studio would be able to prove in a hearing “that continuing to allow Mr. Rutherford to practice yoga at its studio in the circumstances would constitute undue hardship.” 

26Aug

B.C. man accused of putting hidden camera inside winery bathroom

by admin

A Kelowna man has been arrested for allegedly putting a “small camera” inside a staff washroom at a winery.

Kelowna RCMP were called to the business after someone found the camera hidden inside the bathroom. Authorities have not released exactly where the camera was discovered.

Mounties said an employee of the business was arrested and could face possible voyeurism charges.

“Evidence has been seized in relation to this offence and once it has been properly processed, RCMP will be able to determine how many victims may be involved and further charges could be forwarded,” said Const. Lesley Smith.

The CEO of Summerhill Pyramid Winery confirmed to Castanet News the incident happened at their business, adding the “staff member involved is no longer a staff member.”

Ezra Cipes said management did a sweep of the winery to ensure there were no other hidden cameras and the public is not at risk of any danger.

“This happened to us, not by us,” he said. “This has been very hard to deal with.”

Kelowna RCMP said it’s unclear how many people were recorded.

The suspect was released from custody on a promise to appear at an upcoming court date.

26Aug

Hidden camera found in winery washroom, Kelowna man arrested | CBC News

by admin

A Kelowna, B.C., winery employee could be facing charges of voyeurism after police found a hidden camera inside a washroom at the winery.

Kelowna RCMP were called to Summerhill Pyramid Winery Friday after a witness reported seeing what they believed was a small camera concealed inside a staff washroom.  

A man, who police say is from Kelowna, was arrested Friday at the winery but has not been identified yet, as the investigation into the breadth of possible charges continues.

“Evidence has been seized in relation to this offence and once it has been properly processed, RCMP will be able to determine how many victims may be involved and further charges could be forwarded,” said Const. Lesley Smith with Kelowna RCMP.

The CEO for Summerhill Pyramid Winery said the employee has been fired and the company is communicating the news with its employees in person and in letter form.

Parents notified

“I am just going to be calling parents of underage staff members as well today,” said Ezra Cipes, CEO of the winery.  

Cipes said the company did a sweep of the winery and found no other cameras, and because of that, there is no danger to the public.

“We hope people care about us through this situation and don’t point a finger at us,” he said.

RCMP say they have released the male suspect. He is facing possible charges of voyeurism and has an upcoming court date.

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