Mountie’s drunk driving case
shifts into total absurdity

RCMP officer Monty Robinson receives
obstructing justice charge in crash that left
21-year-old Tsawwassen man dead

A column by Gary Mason in the Globe and Mail, Dec. 2, 2009


She could tell you about the pain she deals with — the excruciating reminders of her son Orion’s too-short life that she confronts virtually every day. But for now, Judith Hutchinson prefers to keep it to herself.

“Nothing can repair our pain or replace our loss,” Ms. Hutchinson said, speaking for herself and daughter, Daria.

“We can only hope and pray that this case plays out in a way that demands some accountability and brings some justice.”

Yes, this case. This increasingly disturbing case.

Ms. Hutchinson’s son died on Oct. 25, 2008. Orion, 21, was driving his motorcycle in the Vancouver suburb of Tsawwassen when he was struck by a vehicle driven by one Monty Robinson. And if the name sounds familiar, it should.

He is RCMP Corporal Benjamin Robinson, the officer in charge during a Mountie takedown of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver airport in October, 2007, that ended in the Polish immigrant’s death.

Cpl. Robinson was off duty when he plowed into Mr. Hutchinson. He blew over the limit when police tested him for alcohol consumption less than two hours after the accident.

Delta police handled the investigation. A matter that is often completed in days when it involves a civilian dragged on for seven months. In June, 2009, the municipal police department recommended charges of impaired and dangerous driving causing death.

But that wasn’t the end of it.

The police report was turned over to the criminal justice branch of the Attorney-General’s Ministry. And it would be months again before a decision on whether to go ahead with charges was reached. On Tuesday, the Crown decided against charging Cpl. Robinson with impaired driving, but recommended pressing forward with the lesser charge of attempting to obstruct justice.

No reasons were given. No justification for what surely is a head-scratcher given that police felt there was evidence to charge Mr. Robinson with driving while under the influence. Not only that, but the Crown decision also ignored a related judgment made in the Supreme Court of B.C. earlier this year.

Mr. Justice Mark McEwan dismissed a petition by Cpl. Robinson to have the suspension of his driver’s licence lifted. (Yes, three days after the accident Mr. Robinson appealed the suspension of his license). The judge looked at all the facts and didn’t believe the Mountie’s story. Oh, yes, the story. We almost forgot.

Mr. Robinson told police he likely blew over the limit because he left the scene of the accident for 10 minutes to walk his children home. This before police arrived. At home, he said, he downed two shots of vodka. He maintained he had only two beers at a party before the accident.

But the officers at the scene said Mr. Robinson’s eyes were bloodshot, pupils dilated and his speech slurred. The judge didn’t believe that could have been the result of two shots of vodka 10 minutes earlier. The judge said there wasn’t even any evidence that he’d gone home and couldn’t imagine him doing so when a young man was dying on the ground.

Obviously, this is a sensitive case because it involves not only an RCMP officer but one at the centre of the Dziekanski case. If the Crown wanted to overturn the recommendations of a police investigation and disregard the observations of a Supreme Court justice it was certainly within its rights to do so. But it also had an obligation to justify itself.

The Crown handles potentially explosive cases all the time. And when it makes a decision on charges, it usually releases an explanatory report. It didn’t in this case, saying the matter is before the courts.

This appears to be complete and utter nonsense.

Releasing the report would not have compromised any trial. But it would have meant the Justice Department would have had to reveal why it bought Mr. Robinson’s two-shots-of-vodka story when others didn’t.

I’m hoping there is another reason the Crown didn’t release its full report. One that it can’t talk about now.

When this case gets to court, which could take years at the rate it’s been travelling, Mr. Robinson could be found guilty of obstruction of justice. The Crown refuses to say what that charge stems from but it usually implies some effort to interfere with or influence an investigation.

A conviction, however, is unlikely to lead to much more than a fine and probation.

As for the accountability and justice that Judith Hutchinson is looking for, at the moment that appears very much in doubt.

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More news about RCMP Corporal
Benjamin Monty Montgomery Robinson’s
deadly career

Robinson remains on paid leave
while a decision on Orion Hutchinson’s death
keeps dragging on. More...
And on... More...
The charge is merely obstructing justice. Sounds like
Robinson is getting a really sweet deal. More...
The manner in which the criminal justice system
handles fatality cases involving police officers
is driven by anything but the principle
that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. More...
Robinson proves himself to be
one cunning, callous cop. More here and here.
What constitutes gross misconduct for the RCMP? More...
Incredible! The RCMP complaint commissioner
concedes what everybody else knows
about Benjamin Monty Montgomery Robinson
and the Dziekanski death squad. More...
Two and a half years after Orion Hutchinson’s death
Robinson finally faces a watered-down charge. More...
And three and a half years after Robert Dziekanski’s death,
another watered-down charge. More...
Robinson won’t go to trial on his watered-down Dziekanski charge
until April 2013. The other three cops have court dates spread out
between October 2012 and October 2013. Why so late?
Because justice delayed is justice denied. More...
Robinson has been off work with full pay since October 2007.
So far that’s a four-year, four-month paid vacation while he faces
two criminal charges resulting from two deaths. More...
Robinson finally gets convicted of something,
even if it’s a watered-down charge. He continues to draw
full pay, full benefits and yearly raises while doing absolutely nothing.
He might even stretch that out until retirement. More...
By continuing to pay Robinson, the RCMP flouts public outrage.
They should just fire the bastard. And now. More...
As for the other three members of the Dziekanski death squad,
they’ll never even be suspended. They’re not fit to carry weapons,
conduct investigations, testify in court or even deal with the public.
But they have safe jobs and guaranteed pensions thanks to the RCMP.
Monty Robinson just got a pay raise.
RCMP salary increases apply to all Mounties, even the
convicted criminals who spend years on paid vacation. More...
Robinson actually resigned. Has the two-time killer,
convicted criminal, disgraced police officer and tax-funded parasite
suddenly discovered principles? Or is he striving to stay out of prison?
Nevertheless, RCMP brass gave this sack of shit glowing references.
Justice for Orion Hutchinson? Not even close.
“Be home by 9 now, Monty!” More...
“The various legal woes of Monty Robinson exposed
nearly everything that’s wrong with our ‘justice system.’” More…
Who’s the special prosecutor in this case? Richard Peck,
the cops’ unethical but well-paid go-to guy. More here and here.
Another criminal conviction for RCMP disgrace Benjamin Montgomery Monty Robinson,
this time for perjury. He’s always gotten away with radically reduced charges
for the deaths he’s caused. This time, like the last time, the full-pension criminal will likely
get an exceptionally lenient sentence, once again demonstrating that Canadian police
are held to much, much lower standards than normal people. More…
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