Court upholds verdict in alleged Surrey ‘vendetta’ case

Police received info accused was "actively pursuing" plot to murder ex-wife's boyfriend

A Surrey man has lost an appeal of his conviction for possessing a loaded

VANCOUVER — A Surrey man who police had under surveillance after receiving tips he was plotting to murder his ex-wife’s boyfriend has lost an appeal of his conviction for possessing a loaded, prohibited handgun.

Counsel for Glenn Harley Tetsuji Sheck had argued the gun should have been excluded from evidence at trial on the basis that a police search violated his Charter rights. But Chief Justice Robert Bauman upheld the conviction, finding the search was legit. Justices Edward Chiasson and Sunni Stromberg-Stein concurred

Chris Wasilewicz was shot six times outside his residence on June 8, 2010 but survived. He had been living with Sheck’s ex-wife, Amber Sheck, and her children.

The Integrated Gang Task Force launched a conspiracy to commit murder investigation after the shooting but Sheck has not been charged.

The appeal court judge noted that several months after the June shooting police had on three occasions received information that Sheck was “actively pursuing” a plot to murder Wasilewicz and was “regularly” toting a 9mm Glock inside a Louis Vuitton man purse.

“So strong was the police concern of a vendetta violently erupting between Wasilewicz and Sheck that they felt compelled to warn both of the threat of harm each faced from the other,” Bauman noted.

The court heard that police had Sheck under surveillance on Nov. 4, 2010 and that he was carrying a shoulder satchel. They followed him to a crowded Earl’s Restaurant, where he sat alone in a booth in the lounge, eating chicken wings. Pretending to carry out a “bar watch” check for identification, police asked Sheck to show them his. They then asked him to leave the bar, searched his bag, found the gun and arrested him for possession of a firearm.

At trial Sheck’s lawyer argued the search breached his rights under Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But the trial judge admitted the evidence and convicted Sheck, finding that the police harboured genuine concerns for public safety.

“I find that the search of the bag fits within the ambit of the permissible range of intrusion for searches to ensure public and officer safety during investigative detention,” the trial judge determined.

Sheck’s appeal was dismissed Friday, in Vancouver.

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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