A conviction against a North Westside resident for allegedly harassing the local fire chief was overturned in B.C. Supreme Court. (Morning Star - file photo)

North Westside woman never harassed fire chief: B.C. Supreme Court

Community fire chief made complaint against resident; Supreme Court overturns court ruling

A North Westside woman did not harass the community’s fire chief, according to the B.C. Supreme Court.

Sharon Joyce Schnurr successfully appealed an Aug. 20, 2018 conviction on one count of harassing communications when B.C. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Saunders ruled that “the evidence before the trial judge, I find, did not establish at all, never mind beyond a reasonable doubt, that Ms. Schnurr had no lawful basis for her repeated telephone interactions with the chief seeking enforcement of the bylaws.”

The entire appeal decision can be found here.

Schnurr was charged and convicted for having made repeated telephone calls to the chief about smoke complaints from March 30 to April 4 with the intent to harass the chief and without lawful excuse.

Under appeal, Schnurr and her legal team submitted the trial judge erred in law and misapprehended the evidence when found that the impugned actions of Schnurr were made without a lawful excuse and with intent to harass.

Schnurr’s lawyers said the “verdict was unreasonable because the admissible evidence properly scrutinized was incapable of supporting a finding of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Justice Saunders agreed though he laid the blame on the fire chief for his “mistaken reading of the community’s bylaws.”

“If, as it seems, the chief’s investigations of Ms. Schnurr’s complaints were grounded on his mistaken reading of the bylaws, then his investigations were flawed,” wrote Saunders in his decision. “His advice to Ms. Schnurr was flawed and his complaint to the police that he was being harassed to investigate matters that were not bylaw infractions was simply unfounded.”



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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