June 05, 2014 - 7:09 PM
KAMLOOPS - A man who tried to sell a stolen boat to undercover Mounties knew about its questionable past, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled.
Kevin Peel was convicted of possession of stolen property over $5,000 and trafficking in stolen property.
“I do not believe Mr. Peel and do not have a reasonable doubt,” Justice Sheri Donegan told a court in Kamloops.
“If Mr. Peel didn’t know the boat was stolen property, it was because he was wilfully blind.”
The Crown alleged Kevin Peel tried to sell the 2006 Campion Allante vessel to Mounties in November 2012.
Mounties were alerted by the boat’s rightful owner, a Calgary firefighter who saw his former boat advertised on the Kijiji website in Kamloops.
The vessel went missing months earlier from a condo parking lot in Peachland.
The trial heard Peel, a so-called curber — who brokers vehicles including cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles — didn't bother verifying obvious problems in paperwork though he has 30 years' experience in that line of work.
Peel testified he relied on documents given to him by another curber in the Kootenays and on a lien check.
However, Donegan said Peel should have been highly suspicious when he saw the documents.
Peel’s defence lawyer argued his client advertised the boat online and took no steps to conceal it from public scrutiny.
Donegan said that could also be consistent with a seller trying to deliberately ignore the boat’s shady history.
A date for sentencing has not been set.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014