B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glen Parrett criticized the RCMP on Thursday for leaving a dead body overnight at the scene of an alleged manslaughter.
"I am quite frankly shocked and astounded," Parrett said, adding he had seen "no evidence whatsoever of a single forensic step being taken the next day with the exception of videotaping the scene."
Parrett made his comments during closing arguments for a trial into whether Patrick Mathewsie killed Sylvain Victor Roy, whose body was found in an empty, overgrown lot at Yew and Winnipeg Streets during the evening of July 29, 2010.
"I perfectly understand there are times and some situations where there is forensic necessity for doing things in a particular way," Parrett said. "I've seen some pretty complex investigations that actually went on for days. I see no faintest evidence that happened here."
Parrett further suggested Crown counsel look at sections of the Criminal Code related to indignities to a human body, called the scene depicted on the video a disgrace and noted police had more than three hours of daylight remaining to do their work when the body was found.
"What was the question that required him to be left out overnight in July 29 temperatures?" Parrett said.
He later added he will assist Crown in raising concerns about how that aspect of the case was handled.
Roy had been found with a rope around his neck and Mathewsie passed out beside him with blood on his hands and up his forearms and one arm resting on a T-shirt covering Roy's face, the court was told.
Crown prosecution submits Mathewsie strangled Roy then got up and wandered around the site before returning. However, witness testimony indicated the man seen wandering was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and had greyish hair, whereas Mathewsie was found wearing a short-sleeved shirt and has black hair.
A witness also described Mathewsie and Roy as friends who shared a tent while camping at the location and collected pop bottles together. There was also testimony that a larger, younger man had been seen in the area over the days previous to Roy's death who had been acting aggressively.
Defence lawyer Rob Climie also sought to cast doubt on the forensic evidence, saying no DNA evidence from Mathewsie was found on the rope or on Roy's knuckles or fingernails.
Parrett also criticized an RCMP officer who, in giving testimony, asserted Mathewsie was pretending to be asleep when he was found next to Roy's body. The testimony was not only in contradiction to that given by other officers and ambulance personnel, but Mathewsie's blood-alcohol level, as well as Roy's, was found to be in the .350 range, Parrett noted.
"The [officer's] evidence is patently wrong in my view and I have looked at that evidence very carefully," Parrett said.
Parrett is scheduled to give a verdict on Tuesday morning.