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 ...

RCMP seeks public help in solving arson
 
Surrey RCMP officer to stand trial on multiple gun charges
 
Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children
Second Langley farm hit by avian flu
 
Festival of Trees raises $1,200 for Mission Christmas Bureau
 
New autism centre to open in 2016
Food scraps to be banned from garbage cans Jan. 1
 
Police seek machete-wielding attacker
 
Hunter protest over new regulations to benefit guides fills Langley meeting room

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

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

Dec 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.