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Penticton prolific offender granted bail

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November 24, 2017 - 3:03 PM

PENTICTON - A Penticton man, with a long list of previous offences, was back in court yesterday seeking bail on seven weapons and theft related charges.

Kevin Wayne Walter-Hughes, 39, is charged with possession of a firearm contrary to order, occupying a vehicle with firearms present, careless use and storage of a firearm, three counts of possession of stolen property. He sought release from custody on bail in Penticton court yesterday, Nov. 23.

Crown prosecutor Ann Lerchs said Walter-Hughes was arrested on Aug. 29 after police saw him with a woman and three other men in the parking lot of Victory Church on Winnipeg Street as they responded to reports of men yelling at each other and causing a disturbance.

Police found Walter-Hughes in the front seat of a Honda Civic with a woman in the car beside him, one man in the back seat and two others outside the car nearby.

Officers approached the vehicle and told Walter-Hughes they had been called to disperse a disturbance when they noticed the plates on Hughes’ vehicle did not match the vehicle’s registration. While speaking to Walter-Hughes, they noticed used needles, a knife and an unlabelled pill bottle full of white items in the passenger compartment.

Believing drugs were involved, Walter-Hughes was arrested for possession of a controlled substance. A further search of the vehicle revealed the pill bottle contained around 100 pills. Drug paraphernalia including scales and baggies were also found. In the trunk, there was a Winchester shotgun, a stolen wallet containing identification and a stolen valet key.

Lerchs told court Walter-Hughes had previous convictions dating back to 2001 for possession of stolen property, mail theft, weapons-related charges, resisting arrest and drug charges.

“The offences are a broad spectrum of violence, drugs, firearms, property and non-compliance orders,” she told court in requesting Walter-Hughes not be granted bail.

Defence lawyer James Pennington said the case was not “a slam dunk as Crown would like to think.”

He said his client has a job and a place to live.

“I am instructed that Mr. Walter-Hughes was assisting a friend in moving his friend’s belongings from one residence to the other, and those belongings were placed in the trunk of the car by this other fellow,” adding most of the belongings found were his friend’s including the shotgun.

Pennington said Crown was going to have a hard time making the charges stick, adding police had no grounds to search the vehicle.

“In essence, Crown does not have a strong case,” he told Judge Meg Shaw, who granted Walter-Hughes bail with a surety set at $3,000 with a $1,500 cash deposit.

Walter-Hughes’ will be back in court on Nov. 29.

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