Kelowna Law Courts. (File photo)

Kelowna Law Courts. (File photo)

Lake Country man to spend 2.5 years in prison for assaulting a woman

The matter faced several complications in court due to allegations the lead investigator sent inappropriate texts to the victim

A Lake Country man will serve two-and-a-half years in prison for the brutal assault of a woman. The matter has made headlines in Kelowna over the past year due to alleged inappropriate messages sent from the RCMP’s lead investigator in the case to the victim.

Lonnie Noel Smith, 42, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated assault and two counts of uttering threats on Tuesday, Nov. 17. He was initially facing eight charges, but charges of unlawful confinement; sexual assault; administering noxious thing with intent to endanger; unauthorized possession of non-firearm; and uttering threats to burn, destroy or damage; were stayed as the proceedings concluded.

Sentencing occurred immediately after the pleas were entered and the court accepted a joint submission on sentencing from the Crown and defence lawyers that will see Smith spend the next two-and-a-half years behind bars for the attack which took place intermittently over a 12-hour period on April 21 and 22, 2018.

Crown prosecutor Alex Burton read a statement of facts to the court, agreed upon by both Smith and the Crown.

On April 21, 2018, after a night of drinking and doing cocaine, Smith began a brutal assault on the woman that lasted the course of two days, leaving her with several lasting injuries. Amid the various assaults throughout the night, Smith choked her until she passed out two separate times, twice dislocated her shoulder and left her bloody and battered with several blows.

Waking up the next day and seeing what he’d done, Smith became suicidal. He called another person, asking them to get the woman to the hospital, while he consumed a number of pills in an attempt to kill himself, the court heard.

The person called 911 and two RCMP officers quickly responded. Upon their arrival, they found the woman severely beaten and Smith delirious and incoherent on whatever substance he had taken.

Smith was arrested and both were taken to Kelowna General Hospital for treatment. A doctor’s report noted the woman had brain bleeds, a head fracture, a torn rotator cuff and several broken bones in her face.

To this day, the woman still suffers from nerve damage, permanent loss of smell and taste, and loss of mobility in her shoulder.

READ MORE: Lake Country man pleads guilty to assault, confinement charges

READ MORE: Kelowna RCMP officer suspended after allegedly sexting assault victim

Burton said the Crown likely would’ve sought a harsher sentence if it weren’t for external complications.

Those complications centre around the actions of Kelowna Mountie and lead investigator Const. Sean Eckland, who allegedly sent sexually explicit text messages to the victim after the incident occurred. Eckland remains suspended from the RCMP. These allegations have not been proven in court.

Following the revelation of the inappropriate communications, Smith withdrew his initial guilty plea — which he made in Nov. 2019 to aggravated assault and unlawful confinement — in July. Those communications were mentioned only briefly during the sentencing hearing when Burton referred to them as “improper communications between the complainant and police.”

The complainant also recanted her initial complaint to the police before subsequently changing her mind and reconfirming her statement, adding another snag in the proceedings.

Smith had no prior convictions and his defence lawyer said he has been gainfully employed since his initial incarceration on the matter. He also mentioned that Smith is a recovering alcoholic and in the months leading up to the assault, he had relapsed.

With advanced credit for time already served, Smith has 28.5 months left in his sentence.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC Supreme Court

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The aftermath of the 3 a.m. fire in Keremeos. (Keremeos Fire Department)
Fire and explosion wakes Keremeos residents

A motorhome was consumed and a boat severely damaged after the 3 a.m. fire

(Contributed)
Penticton Regional Hospital Auxiliary donates $78k to school breakfast programs

The Penticton Breakfast Club runs programs at Queens Park, Westbench and Columbia Elementary schools

South Okanagan Women in Need Society and TIME Winery will be accepting donations from noon to 4 p.m. at Time Winery Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020 to help women and children in need during their annual “Time to Give” event. (Contributed)
Support women and children in need this weekend at TIME Winery in Penticton

SOWINS has seen more women than ever become victims to domestic abuse this year

(File)
One death and 82 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

1,981 total cases, 609 are active and those individuals are on isolation

The Cactus Court housing property was intended to have zero barriers for accessibility, but the door sills are visibly above the outer layer of concrete. It is one of the issues that BC Housing is currently working on with the contractor for the project. (Brennan Phillips - Keremeos Review)
Affordable housing projects in Keremeos continue to sit empty

Cactus Court was supposed to be finished around July this year

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Police responded to W.L. Seaton Secondary after reports of young man attempting to smash car windows in the student parking lot on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (Facebook)
Case of COVID-19 at North Okanagan high school

Member of W.L. Seaton Secondary exposure Nov. 26

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP was called to a report of a fight at an Okanagan Landing Halloween party Saturday, Oct. 31, but issued the homeowner a ticket  under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act for having too many people at the party. (Black Press file photo)
West Kelowna man, dog rescued from carbon monoxide poisoning

The man was quickly transported to the hospital

Good Samaritan Mountainview Village located at 1540 KLO Road in Kelowna. (Good Samaritan Society)
First long-term care resident dies from COVID-19 in Interior Health

Man in his 80s dies following virus outbreak at Mountainview Village

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

The former BC Tree Fruits office building at 1473 Water Street has been sold. (Contributed)
BC Tree Fruits downtown Kelowna office sold for $7.5M

Historic building sold for 44 per cent more than the $5.2-million asking price

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Margaret Holm
HOLM: Better Bicycle Lanes

Margaret Holm writes about solutions to global warming

The newly opened Switzmalph Child Care Centre at Salmon Arm offers culturally enriched programs featuring the Secwépemc culture but is open to children of all heritages. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Video: Switzmalph Child Care Centre shares culture with Shuswap community

New daycare at Salmon Arm offers Secwépemc culturally enriched programs to children of all heritages

Most Read