Surrey burglar loses appeal on Hook & Ladder break-in conviction

The case centred on a Jan. 3, 2016 break-in at the Newton pub

A burglar found guilty of breaking into Newton’s Hook & Ladder Pub in 2016 has lost his appeal of his conviction.

Richard Guenter Kaemmer, convicted by a Surrey provincial court judge of breaking and entering to commit an indictable offence, had his case reviewed by the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. It was dismissed on Thursday, April 25, by Justice John Hunter with Justices David Tysoe and John Savage concurring.

It centred on a Jan. 3, 2016 break-in. The court heard police arrested Kaemmer near the pub after a tracking dog named Erlo led the officers to him. There was no direct evidence against Kaemmer and the Crown’s case, Hunter noted, was “entirely circumstantial.”

At appeal Kaemmer’s lawyer argued the trial judge erred by ignoring relevant evidence related to his client’s arrest.

“I can see no error in the judge’s consideration of the evidence concerning the apprehension of the appellant,” Hunter decided. “It was open to the judge as trier of fact to conclude that the dog-tracking evidence established beyond a reasonable doubt that the person who broke into the pub was in fact the appellant.”

READ ALSO: Man sentenced to 4.5 years’ prison for fatal Surrey hit-and-run loses court appeal

READ ALSO: B.C. man’s lawsuit claiming rights to People’s Party name heading to court

The court heard the pub’s motion alarm was triggered shortly before 3:30 a.m., that police were at the scene within minutes and had found a hole in a back wall and some electronics in bushes beside the hole.

The police dog picked up a scent near this hole and then led police on a “meandering trail across parking lots, up stairs, past other buildings, through dense brush, up and over hills, down into ravines,” Hunter noted, all within a short distance from the pub. Eventually it led its handler to the suspect, who the court heard was found with a multi-tool but otherwise nothing from the pub.

At trial, Kaemmer’s lawyer challenged the reliability of the dog-tracking evidence, suggesting it picked up the scent not at the scene of the break-in but from a baseball cap the dog found while tracking.

“The evidence that the appellant was apprehended at 3:30 a.m.,” Hunter noted in his reasons for judgment, “on a freezing night in January in an industrial area where no stores were open to the public, after being tracked from the scene of the crime by a trained tracking dog was more that sufficient to support the conviction of the accused.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Drive-in theatre inspires Langley pastor to create similar church service

Jericho Ridge Community Church tried out the concept Sunday, and will do it again Aug. 2

Surrey Crime Prevention Society relaunches mentorship program with $150K in funding

Program supports vulnerable youth and helps them develop ‘a sense of civic pride’

Gravestones repaired at Surrey Centre Cemetery

Restoration now complete on seven pioneer grave markers vandalized in April

Pubs accused of ‘negligently’ serving alcohol before Surrey traffic crash

The case concerns an Aug. 2, 2015 single-vehicle crash

Surrey mayor says Newton needs more recreation facilities

Surrey council has approved the “Stage 2 Final Report” of the Newton Town Centre Plan

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Urge travellers to follow COVID-19 rules in a ‘gentle way’: B.C.’s top doctor

Cases surging in the U.S. have B.C. officials hoping the border stays shut all summer

Fraser Valley Bandits complete 2020 coaching staff

Four names added for the 2020 CEBL season, which begins on July 26 for the club

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

Most Read