VANCOUVER — RCMP Cpl. Benjamin “Monty” Robinson intended to obstruct a police investigation when he drank two shots of vodka after a fatal crash, a judge ruled Friday.
Robinson, 41, was charged with obstruction of justice in connection with the incident that killed 21-year-old Orion Hutchinson. Justice Janice Dillon delivered her decision in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, B.C. on Friday.
Around 10 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2008, Robinson and two of his children left a Halloween party about five minutes from their Delta home. Robinson testified at trial that he had consumed five beers over the course of four hours, but felt fine to drive.
At an intersection, Robinson turned left and collided with Hutchinson, who was thrown from his motorcycle and died at the scene.
After the crash, Robinson gave his driver’s licence to a bystander and walked his children home. There, he drank two shots of vodka before returning to the scene and telling an officer about the drinks.
Crown prosecutor Kris Pechet argued that the admission constitutes obstruction because of Robinson’s experience and background. Robinson, a 12-year RCMP veteran at the time of the crash, had taken more than 40 courses, including training in blood-alcohol testing.
Defence lawyer David Crossin argued that Robinson was not thinking of the consequences when he drank the vodka. An addiction expert testified at trial that in October 2008 Robinson was alcohol-dependant and his actions after the crash were typical of someone with such a disease.
Robinson is one of four officers awaiting trial on a perjury charge in connection with an October 2007 Tasering incident at Vancouver’s airport during which Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died.