By Ben Ingram
Published July 24, 2013/ canada.com
Bill Gillespie will have to wait to learn the fate of the police officer who shot him during a routine traffic stop.
A sentencing hearing in Duncan for RCMP officer Const. David Pompeo was adjourned on Tuesday.
Pompeo had been found guilty Feb. 14 of aggravated assault for the 2009 shooting of Gillespie.
The RCMP officer remains employed with the Nanaimo detachment under administrative duties.
Justice Josiah Wood granted the adjournment to allow the defence to prepare constitutional to be made during the sentencing hearing.
“They pulled the rug out from beneath me again,” said Gillespie, a resident of Chemainus. “I don’t know how the hell a case gets dragged along, kicked down the road; this is too far.”
Spokesman for the Crown Neil MacKenzie told media gathered at the Duncan Law Courts on Tuesday that both sides wanted additional time to prepare.
At the time of the shooting, Pompeo had been driving with another officer in a grey unmarked Chevrolet pickup when they stopped a beige Saturn driven by Gillespie in a Henry Road driveway.
Court documents say the officers had intended to check the status of Gillespie’s licence in relation to an investigation of a stolen boat.
“The entirety of the contact between the two occupants of the Saturn and the officers consumed at most 39 seconds before Mr. Gillespie was shot,” Wood wrote in the February verdict’s reasons for judgment.
Through the trial, Gillespie repeatedly denied having reached into his pockets when he was shot.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has followed the case closely. The group has been critical of judicial delay in the case and worries police may receive preferential treatment in criminal proceedings.
Executive director Josh Paterson said at the time “there are very few other people in society for whom it would take this long to have an investigation and finally a court proceeding concluded in a shooting.” The detachment’s officer in charge, Supt. Norm McPhail, said Pompeo’s status would be reviewed once sentencing is completed.
“He works within the confines of the police station,” said McPhail.
The BCCLA sent an observer to the Duncan hearing on Tuesday.
The group has aided Gillespie in much of his legal proceedings related to the shooting.
“It’s disappointing,” said Raji Mangat with BCCLA. “We were really hoping the sentencing would start today and conclude tomorrow, that there would be some resolution to this trial process.
“It’s really difficult on everybody involved, including Const. Pompeo,” she said.
Sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 26-27, in Colwood