Man found guilty of robbing Howard Johnson Inn in downtown Kamloops - InfoNews

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Man found guilty of robbing Howard Johnson Inn in downtown Kamloops

Surveillance footage released by police showed the robber in the April 10, 2017 incident at the Howard Johnson Inn in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kamloops RCMP
March 29, 2018 - 11:18 AM

KAMLOOPS - A man has been found guilty of an armed robbery at a local motel that happened nearly one year ago.

Cole Patterson-Coulter was convicted of several charges relating to the April 10, 2017 incident, when a motel clerk at the Howard Johnson Inn on Columbia Street was tied up with a phone cord and had what appeared to be a handgun pointed at him.

Patterson-Coulter testified and denied that he was the suspect, Kamloops Supreme Court Justice Dev Dley said in his decision today, March 29.

The night clerk at the motel was confronted by a person dressed head to toe in black, wearing a backpack and what appeared to be a ski mask, Dley said.

The robber pointed what appeared to be a handgun at the clerk and had tied his hands with a telephone cord. He was then directed to the back room after Patterson-Coulter rifled through the cash drawer and took approximately $90 in change and five-dollar bills.

Security footage captured all of the events that started at approximately 10:15 p.m. After Patterson-Coulter left, the motel clerk was able to free his hands and call RCMP.

Officers patrolled the area looking for anyone who matched the suspect description. They initially arrested a suspect in the 400 block of Victoria Street but the backpack zipper did not match the description and the suspect was released.

Shortly after, another officer spotted a suspicious man in the 800 block of Seymour Street but the clothes did not match the suspect description. The officer returned to the detachment to review the surveillance footage and he realized he was provided with the wrong description.

He concluded that the suspect he had seen on Seymour Street earlier was the robber.

Court heard Patterson-Coulter had been in and out of the hospital for a few months, and a supervisor at Royal Inland Hospital reviewed surveillance footage from that night which showed Patterson-Coulter dressed in black with a grey backpack, and tying something black on his face.

Dley said the scarf tied around his face could have been mistaken for a ski mask by the clerk.

Patterson-Coulter left hospital property at 10:08 p.m. and started heading east toward 4th Avenue. The Howard Johnson is located on Columbia Street near 5th Avenue.

At roughly 10:44 p.m. Patterson-Coulter was seen walking back into the emergency department in a grey sweatshirt and different pants.

Court heard that Patterson-Coulter testified at trial that he was going through opioid withdrawls and headed to his friend's house that evening for drugs. His friend offered him a job to rob a local motel and Patterson-Coulter said he refused.

Instead, he testified, his friend gave him $20 for his clothes. 

Patterson-Coulter testified that after the exchange, he walked to a home on 1st Avenue and Columbia Street, bought $20 worth of heroin, smoked some there and returned to the hospital where he injected some.

He said he wouldn't have been at 800 Seymour Street that night.

Dley said Patterson-Coulter's friend returned his clothing to him, but he disposed of the backpack because he knew it had been used in a robbery. He kept the pants because he liked them.

"There are so many inconsistencies in his evidence at trial and also when I contrast his evidence with what he told RCMP," Dley said.

He called details of Patterson-Coulter's story beyond belief, including the fact that within eight minutes, Patterson-Coulter would have had to leave the hospital, bypass the motel, and exchange clothes with his friend.

"I conclude that it is highly unlikely, it is not a reasonable conclusion to draw in the whole of the evidence," Dley said.

Dley found him guilty of all charges including robbery, unlawful confinement or imprisonment, disguising face with intent to commit offence, use imitation firearm in committing an indictable offence, and breach of undertaking or recognizance.

Lawyers will reconvene April 9 to fix a date for sentencing.


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