This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

7/07/2004

Still at large and better in places

There have been lots of comments on my run in with the RCMP in the person of one Constable Scott Hildersley. I'll be post ing more later in the day but the bullet is this. Hildersley showed up about 3:30 on Tuesday afternoon. He arrived at my cabin door and arrested me. Full on magic finger touch "You are under arrest."

My immediate question was, "For what?" Well, it turns out that the best that the Constable could come up with was a Section 810 Peace bond. Now this is a promise to keep the Peace and carries no criminal record. Best of all from the Constable's perspective it can be obtained if the police officer believes that the complainant believes that there is a threat. In other words on virtually no evidence at all.

Normally, the proceedure is that the accused simply sign the bond which includes a no contact undertaking. However, I was not about to sign anything which even tacitly admitted guilt for something which I did not do nor would I sign anything which would require myself or my family to leave premises we had a legitimate right to occupy.

This did not suit the Constable. He handcuffed me and put me in the back of his rather hot police truck. He then had a chat with Susan. Then he drove me up to the Madrona Lodge parking lot to talk to Susan. Not a happy moment with the baby and Sam hanging about and Susan amazed at the Constable's actions. Bless her she laid into him - verbally of course - suggesting that he had not bothered to conduct a proper investigation, was accepting the word of a woman who was prone to fits of temper and any number of other choice bits which I would have loved to say but thought it best not to. Hinderley was not willing to budge. So I got back into the back again and off we went.

But, he was not done yet. He went back in to talk to Susan and we had another round in the parking lot. In the hot sun with the handcuffs really beginning to hurt. By this point both Susan and I had had more than enough. I made the offer to have no contact with the complianant but to retain possession of the premises for a couple of days. No dice. So off we went to the Pender Island RCMP offices. I had a pen and a copy of Stendal, The Scarlett and the Black.

On the way down Island, after being under arrest for the better part of an hour and a half, Constable Hildersley asked me if I would be wanting to call a lawyer when we got to Pender or if I would be representing myself for the hearing on the Peace Bond. I replied that I would represent myself.

About a minute later I requested that, when we got to the lockup at Pender I be provided with the witness statements, the Constable's notes, his report to Crown Counsel and a copy of the Criminal Code of Canada, ideally Martin's for the annotation so that I might prepare my position prior to the telephone hearing with the duty Justice. "We'll see."

We took the RCMP boat from Montagu Harbour to Otter Bay Pender Island. Lovely trip made more pleasant by the Constable removeing the handcuffs on my undertaking not to attack him or run away. (Not a big temptation with the gun and everything.)

We were met at Otter Bay by an older officer, Lyall - whose last name I did not get. A short drive, still uncuffed and then chacked into the lovely Pender Island Police HQ. Shoes, belt and pen confiscated - I asked again for a Criminal Code and copies of the witness statements. No chance, So Stendhal and I settled into the rather clean yellow cinderblock cell. The "bed" was a two and a half foot wide, two foot high, poured in place hunk of concrete with a bright orange inch and a half thick mattress and thinish orange blanket. Not uncomfortable but not something I would want to wake up to every morning.

Time passed. A lot of time passed. The reason why time passed became apparent at the telephone hearing later. The Constable had rushed up Island to arrest me on this sissy charge - a charge that carries no criminal record and has an unimaginably low standard of evidence - without having written up his own report or having in hand a witness statement from the complainant. (Yes, I will be adding to my complaint.)

Essentially I was being held in a cell while the Constable completed the paper work.

The hearing went rather as I expected it to. Given the absurdly low evidentiary requirement for 810 it is effectively impossible to defeat the charge at the preliminary bail hearing. Which I knew going in. My point was to have a judge actually impose the conditions rather than agreeing to them simply because the Constable wanted me to.

The conditions were duly imposed by the judge with a further hearing on July 28. I was no longer under arrest. The Constable and I now made our way back to Galiano. A nearly full moon over Trincomali Channel lighted our way into the last glow of the late June sunset.

We got off the boat and went to the truck. Constable Hildersley drove me up the Montegue Harbour Hill and dropped me ten miles away from home at 11:40 PM. "You'll get a ride with someone from the pub. If they are drunk, you drive."

I walked home. Got in the door at 2:05 AM.

We moved the next day. To a much nicer place.

Constable Hildersley put on his scarlett serge tunic and lead the Canada Day Parade on North Galiano. We all went to the parade and waved our Canadian flags at the uniform, not the man.