Crown won’t say why it didn’t charge Bobbitt earlier

Alleged incident in 2007 being used to prove he's a dangerous offender and his lawyer wants to know why it didn't merit charges

Crown prosecutors are fighting to block release of their reasons for not approving charges earlier against a man they’re now trying to send to jail indefinitely.

David Wesley Bobbitt, 38, has pleaded guilty to seven offences related to the assault and unlawful confinement of a Penticton woman in 2011.

Now the Crown is seeking to have him declared a dangerous offender, a designation that carries an indeterminate jail sentence, based partly on a similar assault he’s alleged to have committed on a different woman in Penticton in 2007.

Despite a lengthy police investigation, however, charges were not laid in that earlier case.

Penticton RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk, who co-ordinated the investigation, testified at Bobbitt’s hearing Wednesday in B.C. Supreme Court that police recommended charges, but Crown didn’t approve them.

Defence counsel James Pennington asked Moskaluk why, but Crown co-counsellor Nashina Devji objected to the question since the answer would reveal a “privileged communication between the Crown and RCMP.”

Pennington argued his client has a right to know since the alleged incident is now being used against him.

“My view is, here we’ve got this big investigation that takes place, a whole mountain of evidence, a report is sent, and Crown says, ‘Forget it, we’re not approving charges.’ Seven years later, here we are,” Pennington said.

After initial arguments on release of the information, Justice Peter Rogers agreed to put off a ruling until next week at the request of Crown co-counsellor Deb Drissell, who asked for more time to study the issue.

The ruling may have “a significant impact on the Crown’s case and we think we need to have the appropriate time to deal with the issue,” she said.

Before his testimony was brought to a halt, Moskaluk told the court the alleged victim from 2007, whose name is protected by a publication ban, arrived at the RCMP detachment looking “distraught, vacant (and) upset,” with bruises on her face, neck and nose.

He said he detected a” strong and overpowering” smell of stale liquor on the woman, but she didn’t seem intoxicated.

Moskaluk said there were three buttons missing from shirt the woman said she was wearing during the alleged attack in Bobbitt’s trailer on Yorkton Avenue, and three matching buttons were later found on or near Bobbitt’s bed.

Police also found “some blood spattering” on the trailer’s floor, and a digital recorder that was turned on in a “surreptitious attempt” to spy on officers executing a search warrant at the home, the Mountie continued.

Under cross-examination, Moskaluk confirmed he’d dealt with the woman at a “domestic disturbance” prior to the alleged incident at Bobbitt’s trailer, but couldn’t recall details.

The hearing continues through next week.