Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Surrey Six murders suspect gets bail; sushi killer driver gets back license - what the hell?

Bill Tieleman's 24 hours/The Tyee column

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Accused Killers Go Free, Crime Victims Suffer

What's wrong with this picture?

By Bill Tieleman

"Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere."

- Martin Luther King Jr.

How does a man accused of manslaughter in the mass murder of six people in Surrey get released on bail?

How does an alcoholic man who killed two women and injured seven when he drove his truck into a Maple Ridge sushi restaurant not only get released early from a psychiatric hospital -- but be given back his driver's license?

The answer is the same -- because legal authorities said so.

But justice was not done.

On Friday, Surrey Provincial Court Judge Ellen Gordon allowed Sophon Sek to be released from jail on bail, over Crown prosecutor objections, despite facing manslaughter charges in the Oct. 19, 2007 murder of six people, including two innocent victims.

Sek is one of six men alleged connected to the Red Scorpions gang charged in the killings, including Jamie Bacon, who faces one count of first degree murder, and Dennis Karbovanec, who pleaded guilty last year and is serving a life sentence.

And also on Friday, Brian Irving was released from Colony Farms Forensic Psychiatric Hospital into the community, this time against the recommendation of a hospital psychiatrist who wanted him kept there another year, by the British Columbia Review Board.

Irving was found not criminally responsible for killing Simon Fraser University student Maija-Liisa Corbett, 19, and 46-year-old Hyeshim Oh when he drove his pickup truck at high speed into Halu Sushi in Maple Ridge on Aug. 28, 2008.

Back behind the wheel

Irving faced two second-degree murder and six attempted murder charges, but those were reduced to criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm, not that it made any difference.

That's because Irving pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disorder -- two psychiatrists testified he was suffering from delirium due to alcohol withdrawal and did not know what he was doing.

That despite killing two and injuring seven people -- including 11-year-old Joel Corbin, who suffered brain injuries, and his sister Juanita, who suffered serious injuries like broken facial bones.

And now Irving is free to drive again -- because the Review Board did not place any restrictions on his driver's licence.

Steve Brown thinks all of this is insane. I think it's criminal.

Brown's brother-in-law Ed Schellenberg was an innocent victim of the slayings in Surrey, along with Chris Mohan. Both got in the way of a gang hit on four other men in a Balmoral Towers suite.

"We just keep seeing these endless decisions in favour of the criminals," Brown said in an interview. "Too few judges can balance the rights of the accused and the rights of society to public safety and justice."

Recalling the premier's promise

And Brown also blames the B.C. Liberal government for not taking action.

"The bigger issue is the complete and utter silence of this B.C. Liberal government on public safety. Where are they?" Brown asked.

"Has Premier Gordon Campbell followed through with his promise last February of 10 gang prosecutors and 168 new police?" Brown said. "I think he knew all along he would never be able to afford it."

"There's so much contempt for law abiding citizens -- from this government, from the judiciary and from the bad guys," Brown said.

"This B.C. Liberal government has brought politics down to a new low," Brown says, but he isn't exactly happy with the New Democrats either. "We have an ineffective opposition and Campbell is just an emperor."

Brown is deeply concerned that Sek -- who was arrested one day after winning $364,364 in a poker championship at Richmond's River Rock Casino -- is potentially a flight risk.
Cloverdale resident Sek posted a bail bond of $300,000 cash and a $70,000 surety.

"The families of the Surrey Six -- the victims -- must be concerned about anything that jeopardizes justice," Brown says.

justice is being jeopardized daily in this province. And it's disgusting that our government leaves it to the victims of crime to say so.



Anonymous said...

This should come as no surprise since as long as the bad guys leave BC's elites along, the Campbell government could care less. If Wally Oppal was to get mugged watch what would happen.

Ron said...

Good questions, Bill.

I also find it disturbing when serial sexual predators who refuse any treatment are released into communities.

Apparently individual "rights" trump community and family rights to safety.

Klaus said...

I'm curious whether Mr. Brown is upset with the Liberals or the government. By the way, Bill when you say "I think it's criminal", I couldn't follow what you were referring to. Who do you think should be charged with what crime?

JJ said...

"This B.C. Liberal government has brought politics down to a new low"

Isn't that what they are best at? Why should public safety be a determining factor for their actions? And let's not blame the NDP, of course they're ineffective. Isn't that what we all want from the opposition? Well, maybe not all, but certainly most. Or at least a sufficiently large enough percentage that feels justified about not giving a damn what the majority of people including the loser opposition say or think.

I fail to understand why some people continue to expect upstanding behaviour from the lowlife Liberals. Give them a reason to act differently, then maybe they will mature. In the meantime, keep up the quality articles like this one. But if you're looking for justice, best move elsewhere, you won't find it in BC for a long time. Our leaders are corrupt and highly unethical and I constantly feel victimized by them.

"And it's disgusting that our government leaves it to the victims of crime to say so."
Duh! You expect change? Make it happen instead of opposing it. Sheesh, some people!

Anonymous said...

corrosion of community amidst this culture of olympic size complacency.?

BC Mary said...


Your report from BC Supreme Court was sorely missed yesterday (Jan. 19) ...

Robin Mathews has been convalescing from flu ...

and I've searched the CanWest BC newspapers in vain for something about yesterday's Basi, Virk, or BC Rail hearing.

If it weren't for Mark Hume in The Globe and Mail, some of us wouldn't be hopping around high-fiving the news that THE BASI VIRK BASI TRIAL BEGINS RIGHT AFTER THE OLYMPICS.

That's the good news. The weird news is: doesn't that look just a leetle bit contrived ... with easily-identifiable fingerprints? I mean ... BC's biggest government scandal delayed and delayed until after the Olympics?

I'm hoping you're feeling much better, and will report again soon on BC Rail.

Bill Tieleman said...

Thanks for your comment Mary - but I'm actually doing very well down in New Orleans this week! I'll be back and attending Basi-Virk on Monday Jan 25 as usual, but I appreciate your concerns for my health!

DPL said...

Did you get strip searched Bill? Scanned? Take your shoes of?
By the way, the relaxed their carry on baggage today when travelling to the US of A. A guy was on TV this evening. he was flying to the US a couple of days ago. They xrayed his luggage on arrival in the states so he was wondering just what that was supposed to prove.

Anonymous said...

As much as I will get in line to bash the BC Liberals, they aren't responsible for every single decision made in BC. The BC Review Board is responsible for releasing Irving and make the dispositions that release people just as the Parole board is for federal criminals, mentally ill, or what have you. Many of these tribunals make many decisions that the public could be/should be concerned about. This is a difficult area for many to understand, the burdens of proof and interpretation of the legislation.

The lack of oversight and accountability of all BC Liberal appointees (including so-called "Independent officers")can be given some blame in this for provincial matters.

Dispositions can be found here:


FYI - It is called the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital. No Colony Farm added that's the road and what it used to be, many, many years ago.

Anonymous said...

This province is corrupt.

Bill Tieleman said...

No strip search DPL - thanks for asking! - but it did take us 1.5 hours to get through US security - good thing we were over 2 hours early to Vancouver Airport!

Bill Tieleman said...

No strip search DPL - thanks for asking! - but it did take us 1.5 hours to get through US security - good thing we were over 2 hours early to Vancouver Airport!

Anonymous said...

Well, our taser crazy cops have struck again with another innocent citizen being given the special treatment by our law enforcement heroes.

So if BC's judges don't screw the public over or the criminals don't get you, Gordon Cambpell's law enforcement professionals will kick down your door and beat you near death.

And Why?
Because these legal-killers can't even read the correct number on the door of your house or apartment.

Be afraid people, you could be next and your only crime is living in Gordon Campbell's British Columbia.


Skookum1 said...

Hey Bill, eat some catfish for me....

It would be interesting if you could come up with a comparison of politics and corruption in the Big Easy vs. our home-grown variety (Victoria-Vancouver as "the Big Sleazy", perhaps).......

Henri Paul said...

Bill Tieleman said...10:08 PM

No strip search DPL - thanks for asking! - but it did take us 1.5 hours to get through US security - good thing we were over 2 hours early to Vancouver Airport!
No strip search,thats bullsh!t. Flyer's should be demanding it. What was the 1.5 hr for then?

In addition to the strip searches, the airlines should be performing cavity searches on all over the border and over seas flyer's.

If flyer's have so little regard or concern for their own safety, at least think of those on the ground below you, who may not fly or support flying.

Anonymous said...

On the basis of civic infrastructure alone, I'd say Vancouver doesn't hold a candle to the demonstrated political incompetence, and unchecked greed in NOLA.

Anonymous said...

that tape (crime scene)belongs on all B.C.boarder's !

Anonymous said...

maybe kewit could get the contract to put that tape around the province I would usually have said our province but that fu###$ sold it at bargain basement prices!