RCMP’s shorter version of injunction prompts court’s acquittal of B.C. protester

RCMP's shorter version of injunction prompts court's acquittal of B.C. protester
People gather at Queen's Park in Toronto for the Stop Old Growth Logging rally in Toronto in solidarity with Pacheedaht First Nation Elder Bill Jones and the Rainforest Flying Squad to protect old growth forests on Vancouver Island on Saturday, June 12, 2021.

NANAIMO, B.C. — An old-growth logging protester accused of criminal contempt of court for blockading a forestry road has been acquitted because Mounties read out a short form of the court injunction.

British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Douglas Thompson tossed out the case against Ryan Henderson, saying the RCMP script didn’t give sufficient information about the injunction terms and the information wasn’t accurate or clear.

The Crowd had argued during the trial in Nanaimo last month that the accused already knew of the injunction order and the Mounties’ abbreviated version was adequate.

However, Thompson says in a ruling posted online Thursday that the RCMP script of the injunction failed to deliver on the questions of who it applies to and the location.

Hundreds of members of the Rainforest Flying Squad group were arrested on southern Vancouver Island while protesting logging by Teal Cedar Products Ltd, despite a court injunction issued in April 2021.

The BC Crown Prosecution Service wasn’t immediately available to comment on the case or to say if it would appeal the ruling.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 9, 2023. 

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