A dial-a-dope drug dealer who was found guilty of murdering a man in Surrey and a woman in Langley, nine days apart in 2009, has lost his appeal of both convictions.
Robert David Nicholas Bradshaw appealed his two convictions by judge and jury following his trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, arguing the judge had erred by refusing to answer a juror’s question he claims was clear. He also claimed the judge erred in failing to caution the jurors related to bad-character evidence and in her handling of his post-offence conduct.
Bradshaw was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting of Marc Bontkes and second-degree murder in the death of Laura Lamoureux. The murders were five days apart, with Lamoureux being shot dead in Langley on March 14, 2009 and Bontkes being killed at Surrey’s Hi-Knoll Park on March 19, 2009.
Justice David Harris noted in his March 24, 2020 reasons for judgment that both victims had been “connected to and involved in the drug trade.
The Crown’s case was that Bradshaw was involved in a dial-a-dope scheme and he, along with Roy Thielen, committed the murders. Thielen pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder on Nov. 3, 2011. A third person, Michelle Motola, pleaded guilty to manslaughter related to Bontkes’ slaying.
This was Bradshaw’s second trial, with the Crown calling 19 witnesses and filing 43 exhibits. His lawyer argued the case against Bradshaw had not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
But Harris found the trial judge didn’t err in refusing to answer the hypothetical question as it was posed to her.
“Answering that question would have been unhelpful, confusing and potentially prejudicial,” he decided.
“The judge did not err in proceeding the way she did.”
Concerning the issue of bad-character evidence, the jury heard Bradshaw was a drug dealer – a driver for a dial-a-dope drug line – and “though his drug dealing, he was part of Surrey and Langley’s unsavoury drug world.
“Defence counsel, despite being demonstrably aware of how Mr. Bradshaw’s participation in the drug world might reflect on his character, did not ask for a limiting instruction,” Harris noted. “The trial judge did not provide one.”
Harris found the evidence related to Bradshaw’s involvement in the drug trade “was relevant and admissible as part of the narrative and context of the case.”
Bradshaw also argued that the trial judge erred in her handling of his post-offence conduct.
“I am not persuaded that in these circumstances any limiting instruction was warranted to avoid the risks that underlie special instructions about post-offence conduct,” Harris decided. “I would not accede to this ground of appeal.”
Justices Lauri AnnFenlon and Patrice Abrioux concurred.