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Security beefed up at Penticton courthouse for Bobbitt

David Wesley Bobbitt is scheduled to appear at the Penticton courthouse on June 23 to start a month-long sentencing and dangerous offender hearing. He pleaded guilty to a number of charges that took place over the July long weekend in 2011 where he viciously assaulted a woman. - Penticton Western News file photo
David Wesley Bobbitt is scheduled to appear at the Penticton courthouse on June 23 to start a month-long sentencing and dangerous offender hearing. He pleaded guilty to a number of charges that took place over the July long weekend in 2011 where he viciously assaulted a woman.
— image credit: Penticton Western News file photo

A metal detector spanning the hallway of the Penticton courthouse will remain there leading up to the appearance of David Wesley Bobbitt.

The sentencing and dangerous offender hearing for Bobbitt before a B.C. Supreme Court judge is scheduled to begin June 23 and run until July 8, with a continuation date in September. The proceedings were to start June 9 but delayed when Justice Geoff Barrow was unavailable due to an illness.

Bobbitt pleaded guilty to several charges stemming from an incident that took place on the July long weekend in 2011 when a 22-year-old Penticton woman and her toddler son, whose names are protected by court order, were held inside Dave's Second Hand Store for over 10 hours.  The toddler was not injured, but the woman endured an assault with a weapon and a sexual assault. Bobbitt was arrested in the Oliver/Osoyoos area four days after the woman was found in the store.

Staff Sgt. Tracey Biro, of the Sheriffs department, said extra security measures are set up as Bobbitt will appear in person for the sentencing/hearing. During Bobbitt's first appearance in 2011 one man sitting in the gallery yelled obscenities at him and exchanges continued outside the courthouse as Bobbitt was escorted to the sheriff's transport vehicle. The father of the toddler held in Bobbitt's store charged the fence and Bobbitt yelled out, "I'll get you later."

Sheriff's said it was "a bit of a circus" during those appearances and that they will not tolerate anything like that for the upcoming sentencing/hearing.

On Monday, defense counsel Jim Pennington said he would be filing some applications seeking disclosure on the criminal records of all the crown witnesses. He added "a big issue" he will be bringing up is a digital recorder seized by police, which Crown said was later returned to Bobbitt and no transcript of the recording was ever made. An application from Crown is also expected to be dealt with on the first day of the hearing which is asking permission for two of the witnesses to testify via closed circuit TV in another room in the courthouse.

Bobbitt will be sentenced on two counts of unlawful confinement or imprisonment and uttering threats. He also pleaded guilty to single counts of aggravated assault, aggravated sexual assault and assault with a weapon.

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