Claim of dad being a supporter of Hells Angels stalls trial

Defence claims father is a supporter of motorcycle club and that would speak to his credibility.

Scales of justice

Scales of justice

Update: March 22, 2018 — The B.C. Court of Appeal subsequently overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial. T.J.B. was acquitted at that second trial.

ORIGINAL: 

Arguments about a father being a supporter of the Hells Angels temporarily halted a trial into the alleged sexual abuse of his son.

The father, whose name is covered by a publication ban to shield the identity of his 12-year-old boy, was testifying in B.C. Supreme Court in Penticton on Thursday during the trial of Oliver resident T.J.B.

T.J.B., 23, is charged with sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and sexual assault in relation to offences alleged to have occurred from June 2011 through August 2012.

During his cross-examination of the father, defence counsel Michael Welsh asked the man if he is a member or supporter of the Hells Angels. The father didn’t answer and instead asked Welsh how the question was relevant.

Welsh, in response to the same question from Justice Catherine Bruce, explained that the father’s relationship with the motorcycle group would speak to the father’s credibility, and also come up later when T.J.B. takes the stand in his own defence.

After a 10-minute adjournment during which Crown and defence met privately outside the courtroom, the trial resumed and the judge allowed the question.

The father then admitted he’s a Hells Angels supporter, and allowed later that he’d sold marijuana as a teenager and also a few years ago “to help a friend.”

Crown counsellor Catherine Crockett told the judge she expects the issues to arise again when the defence suggests the father convinced his son to “make up” stories about abuse “to keep T.J.B. from telling the police about the drug activity” of his father.

Earlier in the trial, the father testified that his son’s relationship with T.J.B. began with the older man acting as a “big brother-type,” and that the pair grew closer as time passed.

“Maybe a little bit too close, now that I’m thinking back,” the father said, adding later that T.J.B. often followed the boy around and “wouldn’t leave him alone.”

His son then turned into a recluse when his relationship with T.J.B. ended, the father continued.

“He went from being an extrovert into being a shelled-off introvert,” the father said, and “didn’t want to do anything, didn’t want to go anywhere.”

The father testified that he too suffered abuse as a child and recognized the warning signs in his boy, but waited until March 2013 to ask his son about his time with T.J.B..

The boy’s mom is the final Crown witness and began her testimony late Thursday morning. It’s unlikely the trial will conclude during the five days scheduled this week.

On the first day of the hearing, the judge ordered members of a motorcycle group called the Urban Bulldogs Against Kids Abuse to remove their black, leather vests while in the courthouse.

While group members said they were at the trial only to support the victim, the judge was concerned the vests could intimidate people.

Just Posted

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness shared images of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

18-year-old skier Logan Leach follows his guide, Julien Petit, down an alpine track. The Lumby athlete who is visually impaired has been named to Alpine Canada’s Ski Team ahead of the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing. (Contributed)
North Okanagan teen named to national Para-Alpine ski team

18-year-old Logan Leach officially joins Canada’s Para-Alpine roster ahead of Beijing 2022

Most Read