VANCOUVER - A primary investigator in British Columbia's largest gang-related mass murder has been handed a six-month conditional sentence to be served in the community after pleading guilty to failing to maintain law and order under the RCMP Act.
David Attew was described as a star in B.C. Supreme Court on Tuesday for his work on major investigations, including the so-called Surrey six execution-style murders of six men in October 2007 in Surrey, B.C.
He retired from the force as a staff sergeant after being charged in 2011.
Special prosecutor Chris Considine announced a stay of proceedings on eight additional counts against Attew.
He was one of four Mounties charged in relation with the investigation and last week another officer received a conditional sentence to be served in the community.
A publication ban prevented details involving a guilty plea by Derek Brassington, who resigned from the force in 2013, and the same ban applies in Attew's case.
Brassington was given a conditional sentence of two years less a day to be served in the community after he pleaded guilty to breach of trust and obstruction of justice.
Justice Arne Silverman imposed 14 conditions on Attew, including 50 hours of community service.
Defence lawyer Michael Klein said his client had a 19-year policing career and worked on high-profile cases that took an emotional toll on his life.
Attew did not address the court but Klein said his client apologizes for his actions that were related to burnout on the job.
Four of the six men murdered in a highrise in Surrey were involved in a gangs and drugs lifestyle and were targeted but two were innocent victims.
Ed Schellenberg was repairing a fireplace in the building, and Christopher Mohan lived on the same floor where the brazen killings occurred.
Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston, were convicted in 2014 on six counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy in the murder of a rival gang member. A third person who has not been identified pleaded guilty and is serving a life sentence.
The Crown is appealing a judge's decision to stay separate murder and conspiracy charges against alleged gang leader Jamie Bacon, stemming from the six murders.
Eileen Mohan, the mother of murder victim Chris Mohan, said she's pleased a second officer has pleaded guilty to his actions because that will ultimately shorten yet-to-be heard court proceedings involving the murders 11 years ago.
"It gives me some sort of hope that finally they are realizing all the pain and harm that has been caused by their actions," she said of Attew and Brassington.
Mohan said she accepted the "victories" with a heavy heart.
"It's taken a lot of strength and bravery to walk this road alone and be Christopher's voice. And sometimes I feel justice is not on our side and sometimes you have to be so silent and your only presence is the stillness of sitting there and accepting what's been said," she said moments after hearing details of the offence.
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