Surrey bank robbery verdict upheld

Surrey bank robber says witness at his trial did the crime, not him

Surrey bank robber's appeal dismissed. He claimed a witness at his trial hit the bank

VANCOUVER — A Surrey bank robber who claimed it was a witness at his trial, and not he, who hit a TD Canada Trust bank in Cedar Hills has lost an appeal of his conviction and sentence.

Justin Dwayne Paquet was convicted of three crimes related to the Dec. 2, 2012 armed robbery in Surrey. Two masked robbers hit the bank, and one had a shotgun. A witness at the trial corroborated the accused’s claim that he and another person, not Paquet, robbed the bank but the trial judge didn’t believe them.

Court of Appeal Justice Richard Goepel noted the witness at trial “was already serving a lengthy sentence for bank robbery so it would not appear that he would have a lot to lose by giving false testimony concerning this robbery.”

The robbery was captured on video surveillance and the robbers made off with $7,500, some of it decoy cash with a GPS device.

“The circumstantial evidence was overwhelming,” Goepel decided. “The trial judge was correct in finding that the ‘only reasonable and common sense inference’ was that it was the appellant who robbed the TD bank. There was ample evidence to support that conclusion. The suggestion that the verdict was unreasonable and unsupported by the evidence is without merit.”

Justices Edward Chiasson and Nicole Garson concurred.

The decision was rendered Friday, in Vancouver.

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