Surrey burglar loses appeal on Hook & Ladder break-in conviction

The case centred on a Jan. 3, 2016 break-in at the Newton pub

A burglar found guilty of breaking into Newton’s Hook & Ladder Pub in 2016 has lost his appeal of his conviction.

Richard Guenter Kaemmer, convicted by a Surrey provincial court judge of breaking and entering to commit an indictable offence, had his case reviewed by the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. It was dismissed on Thursday, April 25, by Justice John Hunter with Justices David Tysoe and John Savage concurring.

It centred on a Jan. 3, 2016 break-in. The court heard police arrested Kaemmer near the pub after a tracking dog named Erlo led the officers to him. There was no direct evidence against Kaemmer and the Crown’s case, Hunter noted, was “entirely circumstantial.”

At appeal Kaemmer’s lawyer argued the trial judge erred by ignoring relevant evidence related to his client’s arrest.

“I can see no error in the judge’s consideration of the evidence concerning the apprehension of the appellant,” Hunter decided. “It was open to the judge as trier of fact to conclude that the dog-tracking evidence established beyond a reasonable doubt that the person who broke into the pub was in fact the appellant.”

READ ALSO: Man sentenced to 4.5 years’ prison for fatal Surrey hit-and-run loses court appeal

READ ALSO: B.C. man’s lawsuit claiming rights to People’s Party name heading to court

The court heard the pub’s motion alarm was triggered shortly before 3:30 a.m., that police were at the scene within minutes and had found a hole in a back wall and some electronics in bushes beside the hole.

The police dog picked up a scent near this hole and then led police on a “meandering trail across parking lots, up stairs, past other buildings, through dense brush, up and over hills, down into ravines,” Hunter noted, all within a short distance from the pub. Eventually it led its handler to the suspect, who the court heard was found with a multi-tool but otherwise nothing from the pub.

At trial, Kaemmer’s lawyer challenged the reliability of the dog-tracking evidence, suggesting it picked up the scent not at the scene of the break-in but from a baseball cap the dog found while tracking.

“The evidence that the appellant was apprehended at 3:30 a.m.,” Hunter noted in his reasons for judgment, “on a freezing night in January in an industrial area where no stores were open to the public, after being tracked from the scene of the crime by a trained tracking dog was more that sufficient to support the conviction of the accused.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Court awards Surrey Costco shopping cart collector $583K after car pins him

Kurtis Ryan Burdeniuk, 22, was retrieving carts when driver backed into him in the parking lot, pinning him

Woman in Fraser Health region confirmed as sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Committee that replaced Surrey’s Public Safety Committee seven months ago has never met

Surrey mayor dissolved safety committee in July 2019, replaced it with Interim Police Transition Advisory Committee

Extradition case delayed for South Surrey fugitive caught in U.S. after year-long manhunt

Brandon Nathan Teixeira was arrested in California in December

Guildford’s Winter Festival raises nearly $7K for Surrey Memorial Hospital

Funds raised through two weekends of skate rentals, on-site donations

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Exploding enrolment prompts opening of second TWU campus in Richmond

Langley’s faith-based Trinity Western University opens a second campus in Richmond

Fraser Valley seniors’ home residents go without meds for a night due to staff shortage

Residents speak out about staff shortages that are leading to serious safety concerns

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

Most Read

l -->