Black Press file photo

B.C. woman gets new trial after judge ‘stereotyped’ domestic violence victims

Mission woman convicted in 2017 of break-and-enter at Manning Park

A Mission woman has won a new trial after a B.C. Court of Appeal panel found that the judge’s reason for finding her guilty of break-and-enter was based on “impermissible stereotyping about how domestic assault victims typically react.”

Faye-Ann Thompson, 38, was convicted in February 2017 of a break-in which occurred in August 2014 at a residence in Manning Park.

She testified that, at the time, she and her boyfriend were working at Manning Park Resort and living in Mission.

They decided to go for a drive one night in Manning Park. At some point, they got into a fight in which Thompson said her boyfriend dragged her out of the vehicle by her hair, punched her in the back of the head, pushed her down a hill and then drove off, leaving her in a remote area.

Thompson testified that she was frightened, crying, and bleeding from her scrapes and scratches.

She said she eventually started walking down the forestry road they had drive along and, after more than two hours, came across a house down a smaller dirt road.

Thompson testified that she saw a man standing beside a ladder that was leaning against the house, and, still distressed, she told him about the fight she had with her boyfriend.

She said she then asked the man – who told her his name was Jason – if he could give her a ride, and he said he could take her to Mission because he had to work in Abbotsford that evening.

Thompson said that Jason told her he first needed help getting into the locked house, where he had left his keys.

She testified that Jason said he had tried but could not get himself up to the partially open window.

Thompson said she agreed to assist him, climbed up the ladder, opened the window and then let Jason in through the back patio door.

She said she waited on the patio for him, and about 15 minutes later, they left in the car that was on the property.

When the homeowners returned, they discovered that their vehicle was missing, as was a camera, $300 in cash and a purse that contained a spare set of keys to their vehicle.

RELATED: Man sentenced for domestic assault and crashing into Abbotsford Police truck

They were later advised that their burned-out vehicle was found in the Mission area.

Thompson’s fingerprints were found on the inside of the window to the master bedroom, according to court documents.

The Crown argued that Thompson’s story was not credible and that she had made it up to explain her presence at the house.

The judge agreed, saying that Thompson’s actions did not accord with common sense, including that she never called the police or anyone else for help after the alleged assault, and that she did not seek first aid or clean up her wounds when she was in the house.

Thompson testified that she had cleaned up in the river, and she didn’t call police because she thought she’d be in more trouble with her boyfriend if she reported the assault.

The judge said she also found it “simply unbelievable” that Thompson, after apparently walking for two hours, came across a “fortuitous stranger” who just happened to be going to Abbotsford for work later that evening.

Thompson appealed the conviction, saying the judge erred by relying on “stereotypical assumptions about how a woman in an abusive relationship would react when assaulted, including that she would report the abuse to the police.”

Two of the three appeal-court judges – a woman and a man – agreed, saying that the trial judge erroneously relied on “impermissible stereotyping” to convict Thompson.

The dissenting judge, a woman, said the trial judge “simply applied common sense about human behaviour” to assess Thompson’s credibility, and dismissed the appeal.

Appeal applications require a majority, not a unanimous, vote to be allowed.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta artist John Horton named to Order of British Columbia

Honour for significant contributions made to the appreciation and safety of B.C.’s coastal history

Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society doing ‘better than we were expecting’ amid COVID-19

At one point, the board thought it might have a donation shortfall of $250,000

Man arrested in ‘after-hours club crackdown’ in Whalley, Surrey RCMP say

Police say they received information about clubs, parties ‘springing up’ at commercial properties

Wrong-way driver triggers multi-vehicle collision on Highway 99 in South Surrey

Police received multiple reports of vehicle heading north in southbound lanes

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

FURTHER UPDATE: Body removed from Maple Ridge hotel after large police presence

A large contingent of Mounties were at the Art Infiniti Hotel Friday afternoon and evening

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Fraser Valley heritage house

Chilliwack heritage house makes 1.7-kilometre journey to new location

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for Aug. 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Most Read