Friends and family of Paul Prestbakmo (from left: Barbara Calder, Leah Charles, Jimmy Slater, Angela Prestbakmo and Liz Prestbakmo) gather outside Surrey Provincial Court on Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)

Friends and family of Paul Prestbakmo (from left: Barbara Calder, Leah Charles, Jimmy Slater, Angela Prestbakmo and Liz Prestbakmo) gather outside Surrey Provincial Court on Jan. 26, 2021. (File photo)

Client’s confession not believable, says lawyer of teen charged in death of South Surrey mechanic

Trial of youth accused of second-degree murder of Paul Prestbakmo wraps up

The lawyer for one of two youths charged with killing South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo said there’s no way anyone should believe his client’s confession.

The teen, Kevin Westell informed Judge Robert Hamilton March 9, told friends different versions of events in the hours and days that followed Prestbakmo’s death, and made “conflicting, fantastical” statements as to why he and another teen attacked the 45-year-old that August 2019 morning – including saying that they were hired by the Red Scorpions to carry out a hit.

Those “shifting sands… should cause your honour to really pause before accepting any of the evidence that comes out of my client’s mouth,” Westell said during closing submissions in Surrey Provincial Court.

“(He is)… a frequent liar, and someone whose word cannot be counted on.”

Prestbakmo died just before 3:30 a.m. on the morning in question, after he was stabbed 42 times in a commercial parking lot at 18 Avenue and 152 Street.

Westell’s client and another teen – both of whom cannot be publicly identified due to their ages – are charged with second-degree murder in connection with Prestbakmo’s death. They’re also charged with aggravated assault in connection with “life-changing” injuries sustained by a senior earlier that same morning.

In closing submissions heard starting March 8, Crown counsel contended that the teens knew the potential consequences of their “intense, ferocious” attack on Prestbakmo, were co-perpetrators in both crimes and, as such, should be held equally responsible.

READ MORE: ‘Intense, ferocious’ attack on South Surrey mechanic shows intent to kill: Crown

Michael Klein, defense counsel for the co-accused, submitted that there was “simply no evidence” that his client participated in an assault on the senior, nor that he inflicted the wounds that killed Prestbakmo.

During trial, court heard from experts that DNA from the crime linked Prestbakmo to the accused. CCTV footage associated with both crime scenes was also viewed and analyzed. A number of witnesses testified that Westell’s client was a frequent liar.

Noting he’s never been in a position of casting aspersions on his own client’s character before, Westell told the court that while it’s “reasonable to infer that either one or both of the boys participated in both attacks,” the evidence does not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that his client had intent to kill.

“The Crown has not come close to proving (my client’s) culpability,” he said. “The question of… who did what cannot be answered by the evidence before the court.”

Westell said evidence in Prestbakmo’s case supports nothing greater than a finding of manslaughter. He asked the court to acquit his client of both murder and aggravated assault.

A date to present the verdict is to be set in Surrey Provincial Court on March 24.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


A memorial remains near the site of where South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo was killed in August 2019. (File photo)

A memorial remains near the site of where South Surrey mechanic Paul Prestbakmo was killed in August 2019. (File photo)

Comments are closed

Just Posted

A woman crosses 176th Street in Cloverdale April 12, 2021. 176th will not host Cloverdale Market Days this year as the popular street fest is just the latest casualty in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Cloverdale Market Days cancelled again

Organizer says popular street fest will return in 2022

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions against new model; BCSS and its board in favour

Vintage scrapbooks gave way to Instagram and Facebook. (Photo: Ursula Maxwell-Lewis)
COLUMN: Prince Philip just got on with it—to our surprise

Ursula Maxwell-Lewis reflects on the passing Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

The Delta Police Department’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Unit: (from left) Const. Joel Thirsk, analyst Jody Johnson and Staff Sgt. Sukh Sidhu. (Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police respond to rising number of hate crimes

Police have received 15 reports so far in 2021, compared to 12 in all of 2020

Researchers say residents should leave sleeping bats alone while they exit hibernation. (Cathy Koot photo)
Spring ‘signal’ brings White Rock, Surrey bats out of hibernation

Community Bat Programs of BC says it’s best to leave sleeping bats alone

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier John Horgan booked to get AstraZeneca shot Friday

‘Let’s show all British Columbians that the best vaccine is the one that’s available to you now,’ he said

Doses of the Moderna COVID‑19 vaccine in a freezer trailer, to be transported to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canada’s incoming supply of Moderna vaccine slashed in half through end of April

Moderna plans to ship 650,000 doses of its vaccine to Canada by the end of the month, instead of the expected 1.2 million

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
P.1 variant likely highest in B.C. due to more testing for it: Dr. Henry

Overall, just under 60% of new daily cases in the province involve variants

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Dr. Bonnie Henry – in a B.C. health order that went into effect April 12 – granted WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce workplace closures with COVID-19 spread. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
24 workplace closures being enforced in Fraser Health under new COVID-19 order

WorkSafe inspectors the power to enforce closures if COVID-19 has spread to 3 or more employees

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue were conducting training operations at Gold Creek Falls when a firefighter broke their leg. (Eileen Robinson photo - Special to The News)
Firefighter suffers broken leg during swift water rescue practice in Golden Ears park

A training exercise at Maple Ridge waterfall on Wedesday results in mishap

Most Read