August 24, 2015 - 1:59 PM
KELOWNA – The judge in the trial of a Kelowna RCMP constable accused of assaulting an elderly bar patron will have to decide if the officer believed John McCormick was obstructing justice when he refused to leave Rose’s pub in downtown Kelowna last summer.
Judge Gregory Koturbash heard final submissions in Kelowna Provincial Court Monday, which included arguments from Const. Grant Jacobson’s lawyer who says McCormick was belligerent and refused to comply with orders from Jacobson and several bouncers when told to leave the bar as it was closing.
“(McCormick’s) recollection of events was decidedly poor,” Norm Yates said. “His evidence was confused and disjointed. He didn’t remember speaking to Const. Jacobson that day except for an earlier, brief conversation he had well before closing time. He didn’t remember being belligerent, vulgar or rude or loud or that he failed to follow the direction of the bouncers to leave the bar. He didn’t even remember being arrested.”
McCormick, 61, was arrested just after 2 a.m. June 28, 2014, after he engaged Const. Jacobson during the bar flush. When McCormick took the stand in May he testified to asking Jacobson what was going on.
“He says to me ‘none of your business’, I said excuse me I’m just asking a question. He goes 'fuck off', and I said, 'you fuck off.' He took my drink, put it on the table and attacked me. The next thing I knew I was on the deck.”
Video taken that night shows Jacobson haul the pub regular, who admits he was in the bar more than 12 hours that day, to the ground and striking him with his fist several times.
Jacobson is charged with assault but says the only reason he took McCormick to the ground in the first place was because he made a threatening gesture. He testified in May that he struck McCormick when he felt the man, known as “Irish,” trying to take his gun.
Koturbash heard closing arguments from both Crown and defence lawyers Monday and has adjourned until Sept. 2 to fix a date for his decision.
“I think at the end of the day what needs to be addressed is that… given Mr. McCormick’s instructions he had to leave the premises… does (his refusal to leave) amount to obstruction or not,” Yates said.
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