A violent criminal who gave details in B.C. Supreme Court about operating a drug network in Kamloops last year was acquitted on charges he threatened another drug dealer, beat him and stole his truck.
Justice Hope Hyslop said the Crown did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt Trevor Taylor is guilty of extortion, robbery and using an imitation firearm.
The Crown’s case relied on the testimony of Jody Honeyman, described by defence lawyer Don Campbell as a “self-admitted drug dealer.”
Hyslop called his testimony “contradictory” and “riddled with can’t remember,” describing Honeyman’s attitude on the witness stand as cavalier.
“I believe very little of what Mr. Honeyman states,” she said in her ruling.
By contrast, she said Taylor, 29, was matter-of-fact and straightforward on the witness stand about his drug-dealing network in Kamloops in 2013. He described overseeing a network of drug dealers selling cocaine, heroine and methamphetamine.
While stating “I don’t think I was told the whole truth by Mr. Taylor,” Hyslop said enough doubt exists that she cannot convict him of the crimes.
The Crown alleged on Oct. 10 last year Taylor confronted Honeyman, part of his drug-dealing network, and demanded payment for drugs he was provided.
Honeyman reported to police and testified Taylor assaulted him and showed a gun tucked into his pants before making off with his pickup, recovered by police hours later.
Taylor testified he wasn’t in Kamloops on that evening and denied taking anything from Honeyman. Instead, he claimed Honeyman agreed to drive him around the city for about $250 a day to work off more than $3,200 in drug debts.
While Honeyman told police he suffered injuries, including being burned by a torch on his pants, Hyslop noted he wasn’t able to provide photographic evidence and did not ask police to take him to hospital.
Both men have criminal records. In Taylor’s case, that includes for obstruction of a police officer, armed robbery, drug trafficking, assault and obstruction of justice.
Sheriffs employed high security Tuesday (Aug. 12) for the decision and, throughout the trial, screened all members of the gallery for weapons. The measure came after Taylor was arrested recently following a gang-related shooting at a Burnaby shopping mall.
His bail was revoked after the new charges and he remains in prison.