By Jennifer Saltman, The Province
A Surrey RCMP officer who lied to the Insurance Corp. of B.C. about an accident that occurred while he was off duty nearly two years ago has been fined $2,500.
James Steven Baker was convicted in October of one count of providing ICBC or its representatives information material to a claim for insurance that he knew was false. He was sentenced on Friday in provincial court in Abbotsford.
The incident that led to the charge took place on Dec. 10, 2013 in Surrey.
Baker was driving his pickup to work early that morning and lost control on 64th Avenue in an area known as Bose Hill, which was icy and snowy at the time. He went off the road and ended up in a farmer’s field.
Baker told ICBC in a statement that he had been struck by another vehicle that had attempted to pass him at the top of the hill. He said the back end of the car hit the front end of his truck when the car merged back into his lane, causing him to lose control.
The driver of a City of Surrey salt truck who was working that morning told the court that there was no other vehicle involved in the accident. He said that Baker lost control after passing him at a high rate of speed.
When finding Baker guilty, the judge said three independent pieces contradicted Baker and led him instead to believe the evidence of the salt-truck driver.
In addition to the $2,500 fine, Baker will be required to pay a $375 victim surcharge.
Baker is currently suspended with pay from his job with the RCMP and a Code of Conduct investigation is ongoing.