Sentencing turns to trial, as guilty plea struck

Kevin Simons denied having possession of a knife during a break-and-enter last August

A man who pleaded guilty to breaking into a house and threatening to kill or cause bodily harm in August 2016 will go to trial over whether or not he had a knife or not during the crime.

Kevin Simons is accused of a break-and-enter at a Government Street house on Aug. 11, 2016, and two counts of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm for allegedly threatening two people.

Simons is also facing a charge of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, all of which he has pleaded guilty to. The Crown lawyer, John Swanson, said at the outset of Simon’s hearing Monday morning, which was intended to be a sentencing hearing, that Simon had come to a significant disagreement with the Crown’s case on the matter, and that a new hearing would likely be required to reconcile the discrepancies.

“He appears to have resiled from his plea on count four,” defence lawyer James Pennington said, referring to the weapons charge.

“The Crown alleges that my client was in possession of a knife. I’ve spoken to him several times about this. Last few times, he’s been adamant he did not have a knife. The other three counts there is no dispute on.”

That change in the defence’s case has led to a challenge for the courts, with a guilty plea already entered on the charge of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

“Are you applying to strike the plea?” Daneliuk asked. “If your friend wants to allege a certain fact to substantiate a plea which are in dispute, then you can put your friend to the proof of those facts which they want to allege. But there has to be some underlying basis for the plea itself.”

Although it is typically a high bar to clear to pull a guilty plea that has already been entered, Pennington’s application to strike the plea went unchallenged by Swanson, meaning the two will have to face off in a trial on that matter. Meanwhile, Simons’ guilty plea remains on the remaining three charges.

The matter was set to go to the judicial case manager to fix a date for the trial Monday afternoon.


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

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