New Westminster – On July 6th, 2016 at approximately 04:00 hours, NWPD patrol members responded to a reported home invasion in the 400 block of Queens Avenue. On arrival, officers located a resident who was suffering from significant injuries, however the suspects had already fled the scene.
Due to the random nature and severity of the incident, a significant amount of police resources were dedicated throughout the investigation to not only identifying and arresting the suspects involved, but also in ensuring that those suspects could be prosecuted for the various serious offences.
The NWPD Major Crime Unit took conduct of the investigation and within a very short time had identified and arrested two suspects who were charged with multiple offences; 23 year old Coquitlam resident Stephen Smith, and 25 year old Coquitlam resident Victor James.
On May 28th, 2018 Mr. Smith plead guilty to:
1. Two counts of Attempted Fraud, contrary to Section 380(1) and Section 463 of the Criminal Code of Canada;
2. One count of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, contrary to Section 355(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
On May 28th, 2018 Mr. James plead guilty to:
1. One count of Possession of Property Obtained by Crime, contrary to Section 355(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
The trial continued, and on June 2nd, 2018, both Mr. Smith and Mr. James were found guilty by a jury for the additional offences:
1. Breaking & Entering a place, a dwelling-house, and committing an indictable offence therein, contrary to Section 348(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada;
2. Aggravated Assault, contrary to Section 268 of the Criminal Code of Canada;
3. Confining or Forcible Confinement or forcibly seizing a person, without lawful authority, contrary to Section 279(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada; and,
4. Robbery, contrary to Section 344(1)(b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
“We are pleased with the outcome of this trial, and are hopeful that the victim is able to find some closure now that it is over” stated Sergeant Jeff Scott. “We take violent incidents such as this extremely seriously and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that suspects who engage in these types of crimes are held to account before our justice system. We are committed to keeping this city and our citizens safe against those that would seek to do them harm.”
Mr. Smith and Mr. James remain in-custody for a sentencing hearing scheduled on June 28th, 2018.