News

White Rock man still in custody on chemicals charges a year later

  - File
— image credit: File

A man arrested one year ago in connection with a cache of chemicals found in White Rock remains in custody despite an effort last summer to have him released on grounds of unreasonable delay.

According to a ruling handed down in August – but only posted online last month – Justice Anthony Saunders found that while the delay in proceedings against Hamish Norman Sutherland “is perhaps right at the outer edge of what is considered to be reasonable given the right to a speedy trial, and given the presumption of innocence, there has not been unreasonable delay in these circumstances.”

Sutherland, 35, has been in custody since his arrest last Jan. 24. He was charged after a tip about chemicals that may pose “a significant risk to public safety” led police to a third-floor apartment in the 15100-block of Prospect Avenue.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges – which include making or possessing explosives – in June, and a 10-day trial is set for next month.

In finding Sutherland’s pre-trial detention not unreasonable, Saunders notes he focused on the period from the accused’s June bail hearing until his pending trial.

The bail hearing was postponed at least five times before June, due to his lawyer’s involvement defending Karl Lilgert against charges in connection with the March 2006 sinking of the Queen of the North.

Saunders acknowledges the subsequent delay is “unusual,” and said it must be considered in light of the presumption of innocence and the right to a speedy trial.

“However, given the complexity of the issues and the necessity of a 10-day trial here, while I find that the detention… was lengthy, I find that it is not inordinate or unreasonable to the extent that the delay has unreasonably impacted Mr. Sutherland’s rights throughout.”

“The interim detention will continue on the terms presently in effect."

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

TIMELINE: An interactive history of terrorist attacks and plots in Canada
 
Poll finds Lower Mainland voters ready to shake up city halls
 
Purse-snatch victim warns other seniors
Wire thieves hit home
 
Election 2014: South Surrey ‘family group’ targets pro-gay policy
 
B.C. Muslim Association speaks out on gunman
Police targeting speeders this long weekend
 
A place for Hadiya girls to belong
 
Surrey sex assault suspect sought

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 23 edition online now. Browse the archives.