BCCLA reacts to adjournment of sentencing hearing for RCMP officer found guilty in shooting of Bill Gillespie

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Duncan, BC – The two-day sentencing hearing that was set to begin yesterday for RCMP Constable David Pompeo – the officer who shot unarmed Bill Gillespie in Chemainus in September 2009 – was unexpectedly adjourned. The hearing has now been scheduled for August 26-27, 2013 in Colwood, BC.

Bill Gillespie was shot by Const. Pompeo on September 18, 2009. Charges were brought against Const. Pompeo nearly two years later, on May 5, 2011. On February 14, 2013, Const. Pompeo was found guilty of aggravated assault. Constable Pompeo has yet to be disciplined by the RCMP for his unlawful conduct. Mr. Gillespie is in constant pain as the bullet used in the shooting remains lodged in his spine. His life has been turned upside down.

Judge Wood, of the B.C. Provincial Court, granted the application for an adjournment, and in so doing acknowledged that the matter had already been adjourned for a long time. The application was made jointly by the Crown and Defence on the basis that counsel require additional time to prepare for constitutional arguments that will be heard at the same time as the sentencing hearing.

BCCLA Counsel, Raji Mangat, was at the hearing and reacted to the adjournment: “Bill Gillespie has been waiting almost four years for justice, and sadly today he was told that he’s going to have to wait even longer. We are very disappointed that Const. Pompeo’s sentencing hearing has been adjourned for a month. The guilty verdict came down five months ago. The RCMP should finally take appropriate internal disciplinary action against Const. Pompeo, who has remained on the RCMP payroll all this time.”