October 21, 2014 - 12:31 PM
PENTICTON - The dangerous offender hearing for David Bobbitt may continue into the new year after a Supreme Court Justice ordered a recall on a witness whose whereabouts are unknown to the court and police.
Defence lawyer Jim Pennington applied for the right to further question the witness who testified earlier in the hearing that Bobbitt raped her in 2007. The woman leads an “itinerant” lifestyle and neither Crown, police or victim services have heard from her since she appeared in Penticton to testify during the summer, Justice Peter Rogers said.
If the witness cannot be located by the end of 2014, Rogers will drop his order and the hearing will continue without the additional cross-examination, he said.
If brought back to testify again, the witness will face questioning on an alleged assault by an ex-boyfriend, Andy Fort, that she reported to police three weeks after the complaints were made on the alleged rape by Bobbitt. Fort also filed a complaint with police that the woman assaulted him, however no action was taken by police after an investigation.
The court needs to determine whether there is relevance in the timing of the two alleged assaults and whether the witness is a credible source.
“Her credibility is a material issue in this case,” said Rogers.
While Bobbitt was never charged with an offence in the case, her evidence helps the Crown prove a dangerous pattern of behaviour by Bobbitt. For Bobbitt to be considered a dangerous offender, that pattern is essential.
Bobbitt also faces sentencing for a 2011 sexual and aggravated assault case, which he pleaded guilty to in April 2013. The case was adjourned after Rogers' decision was made today, and will return to Penticton Supreme Court on November 10, 2014 to schedule a date for the hearing to continue.
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