Ronald Teneycke is escorted out of Penticton’s courthouse Monday afternoon, following dangerous offender hearings throughout the day. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

Dangerous offender hearing halted for medical reasons

The Crown wrapped up its witness submissions for Ronald Teneycke’s dangerous offender hearing Tuesday

Forensic psychologists reportedly told a bail supervisor Ronald Teneycke’s resistance made him unsuitable for treatment for sexual offenders.

That came during a dangerous offender hearing for Teneycke in Penticton’s courthouse Tuesday morning, where bail supervisor Michael Kent testified as the Crown’s final witness.

Already considered a prolific offender, Teneycke’s criminal history spans decades, with the latest incident being a South Okanagan-wide manhunt after Teneycke shot Wayne Belleville in the back and stole his truck in 2015. During his time on the run, Teneycke held up an Oliver convenience store before RCMP finally caught up with him in a Cawston orchard after an officer shot his tire eight times in a slow-speed chase.

Police found Belleville’s wallet, a rifle, a revolver and a machete on Teneycke, who later pleaded guilty to armed robbery, robbery with a restricted firearm, flight from a peace officer and discharging a firearm with intent to wound.

Teneycke had previously served a 12-year sentence for a sexual assault on a teenager in 1993, and he has been in and out of jail since.

Kent reported that he was a bail supervisor for Teneycke between 2012 and 2014, saying he regularly spoke with Teneycke about getting treatment both for substance abuse and for sexual offenders, as Teneycke was convicted of a sexual assault on a teenager in 1993.

Related: Ronald Teneycke diagnosed with leukemia

He said he recommended it to Teneycke early on in working with him, even communicating with forensic psychologists in B.C. Corrections about it at the time.

“Forensics responded with a letter saying that Mr. Teneycke was not considered suitable for sex offender treatment due to his level of resistance and also citing the fact that he would be disruptive to the group process,” Kent said.

While Kent reported some ability to speak about Teneycke’s drug use at times, he said the prolific offender often became angry when the subject of his sexual assault conviction came up.

“I offered him the opportunity to attend sex offender treatment in Kamloops, as it is being run soon … He became enraged at this. He said he did not want to discuss sex offending or attend any treatment,” said Crown counsel, reading from a contemporary log entry by Kent.

“Ron continues to be resolutely opposed to addressing his history of sexual offending.”

Related: Dangerous offender hearing starts

Following Teneycke’s mother’s terminal lung cancer diagnosis, he reportedly admitted his drug use to Kent, saying it was to cope with his mother’s illness.

That was after some time of denial, despite Kent noting a loss of around 70 pounds over two months, describing Teneycke at the time as “emaciated.”

After Teneycke admitted to drug use, believed to be crystal meth, he continued to decline treatment for that issue as well, including counselling at Pathways and through local Indigenous resources.

Defence lawyer Michael Welsh noted the Penticton Indian Band barred Teneycke from attending local sweat lodges at one point. Welsh also made note of Teneycke avoiding sweats, himself.

“The reasons range from his reputation and stigma … to negative spiritual forces,” Welsh said, reading from another log entry from Kent.

While Kent said he believed Teneycke did not receive treatment, he confirmed that he could not say that for sure.

Related: Dramatic conclusion in RCMP hunt for Teneycke

With Crown witnesses now wrapped up, Welsh has asked for an adjournment before bringing his own submissions, expected to last half a day.

That adjournment is intended to give Welsh time to determine the prognosis for Teneycke, since his diagnosis with leukemia.

Judge Richard Hewson asked Welsh what difference any prognosis would make in the case of a dangerous offender hearing.

“If he’s going to be somebody who is very ill in the system, and may or may not survive a sentence, then there may be no particular point in being designated, other than to serve a standard sentence,” Welsh said.

If designated a dangerous offender, Hewson would be able to hand an indefinite sentence to Teneycke, with no eligibility for parole for seven years.

Crown lawyers will need to prove reasonable fears that Teneycke is at risk of committing a criminal organization or terrorism offence, sexual assault on an under-16 minor or a “serious personal injury offence,” according to the federal Ministry of Public Safety.

Welsh was granted his adjournment, and lawyers said they likely won’t find the time to reconvene for at least a few months.

Related: Last chance for prolific offender Teneycke


@dustinrgodfrey
dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com
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