Vernon man charged with heroin dealing skips bail, lives quiet life in Lake Country for five years | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon man charged with heroin dealing skips bail, lives quiet life in Lake Country for five years

October 08, 2019 - 7:00 PM

VERNON - A Lake Country man charged with dealing heroin in 2014 appeared in a Vernon courtroom for the first time today, Oct. 8, and had lawyers and the judge wondering where he'd been for the last five years.

"I'm not sure what happened," Crown lawyer David Clements told judge Richard Hewson.

"I don't know what has happened in the last five years either... but I do know he hasn't been coming to court," replied the judge.

Steven Skolovy was originally arrested in February 2014, and charged with possession of heroin for the purpose of trafficking. Nearly a year later he was arrested again in January 2015 and charged with possession of heroin and ativan, as well as resisting arrest.

Skolovy was released on bail but failed to show up to court.

After that, he appears to have fallen off everyone's radar.

"For some reason that hasn't been explained to me, (Skolovy) hasn't returned to court since 2015," Hewson said.

Until today, where Skolovy sat in the dock wearing bright orange prison garb waiting to hear if he would be granted bail. It was not explained in court how Skolovy had recently found himself back in custody.

Defence lawyer Rod Wark and the Crown agreed Skolovy should be released under the same bail conditions as his earlier arrest, citing among other things that prior to his 2014 arrest he had no previous criminal record.

Despite Skolovy's consistent no-shows, the judge's frustrations seemed not to lie with his reluctance to turn up to court, but with the lack of clarity given by both lawyers.

"I haven't received the circumstances of Mr. Skolovy so I don't know of those circumstances, but I have been told second hand that he has employment and he's been living problem-free in Lake Country," Clements told the judge.

"I'm not sure I understand your comments," Justice Hewson said. "It seems the Crown's position is conditional on receiving some information, so that's not really a position at all, it just means you don't know enough to have a position."

Appearing in the courthouse by telephone, Clements told the judge Skolovy had a stable residence and was employed.

"This is not helpful, he's got no idea what's going on," Hewson replied. "So the Crown has no position with respect to Mr. Skolovy's release that I can understand."

Wark explained to the judge Skolovy was living in Lake Country with his partner and working as a bricklayer.

Hewson agreed to release Skolovy on bail and scheduled his next court appearance for Oct. 17.

Clements suggested Oct. 22 would be a better date as Crown lawyers were scheduled to be at the courthouse that day.

This didn't sit well with Justice Hewson.

"Mr. Clements, this matter has been drifting for years, nobody appears to have done anything about it," Hewson said. "I'm going to put it on Oct. 17, and it deserves some attention because Mr. Skolovy needs to start coming back to court."

"We're not going to start scheduling things just because your office has scheduled a prosecutor to be here," the judge said.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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