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Princeton man charged with assaulting a doctor has trial delayed further

The trial of Trevor Rhyno was originally planned to continue in Penticton on Feb. 20
Circuit court is held once a month in Princeton. File photo

A trial for an alleged assault of a Princeton doctor over wearing a mask during the pandemic won’t resume for several weeks, if not months.

The trial of Trevor Clary Rhyno was set to continue on Feb. 20 in Penticton.

Rhyno had been charged with assault causing bodily harm after he allegedly punched a doctor multiple times at Princeton General Hospital in August of 2022, following an argument over having to wear a mask as required by pandemic protocols.

However, the plans for the trial’s continuance were derailed with Rhyno not being physically present.

The court was told that miscommunication had led Rhyno to believe that the trial would be back in Princeton, not Penticton.

Defence for Rhyno said that he had been unable to to arrange transportation on short notice to Penticton.

Crown had brought up the possibility of using a bench warrant to have the RCMP arrest and transport Rhyno to Penticton for the afternoon, however, they noted that would still leave him without the means of returning home.

READ MORE: Princeton man on trial for allegedly assaulting doctor over COVID mask

It was noted that at the previous trial date in November, the discussion of moving the matter to Penticton to resolve it quicker had been held on the record and involved Rhyno.

The request to return the trial to Princeton was granted, however, the judge and Crown both noted that due to Princeton’s particular schedule, it would be some time before the matter would continue.

“The trouble is we’re only in Princeton once a month, and you have to continue your trial in front of me, which is the other tough piece of scheduling to figure,” the judge noted.

The judge consulted Rhyno to confirm that he wanted to reschedule to Princeton, given that the delay would be at his feet.

“I don’t understand why the finger is being wagged at me,” said Rhyno. “I do not have the financial means to be able to drop everything and run to Penticton.”

The judge had to remind Rhyno several times to stop talking and let his lawyer handle matters, as well as remind him of the seriousness of what was going on.

“Mr. Rhyno, I want to be really clear with you right now, dropping everything and coming to Penticton when you are charged with a criminal offence, it’s not an option,” said the judge. “It’s not an invitation to come to court, you are required by law to come to court.”

A new date for the continuation of Rhyno’s trial will be set at a later date to be held in Princeton.

Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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