A public protest has been planned after a Vernon man with a long list of run-ins with the law had his probation order terminated earlier this week.
Richard Slobodian, 58, had his probation order cancelled by B.C. Provincial Court Judge Mayland McKimm on Sept. 14, when he appeared at the Vernon courts for an application to vary sentence. The Crown opposed the cancellation, according to Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the B.C. Prosecution Service.
Slobodian’s charges and breaches date back to 2014, when Crown prosecutors imposed restrictions on the grounds that he was a danger to committing a sexual offence against a minor. Court records show Slobodian was placed on a court-ordered recognizance, or peace bond, which he subsequently breached at least a dozen times.
In June, Slobodian spent one night in jail and was fined $500 for failing to comply with a probation officer after allegedly taking photos near a Coldstream playground.
A public protest has been scheduled in front of the Vernon courts on Sept. 27 at 1 p.m. Sixty-five people have responded to the Facebook event so far.
“Bring all (your) friends and family,” organizer Kaitlynn Hennessy wrote on the event’s page. “Let’s show our city, police, judges, etc. that this is not OK with us!”
Residents in the Vernon area have expressed their concern about Slobodian’s freedom on social media. In July, B.C. Crime Watch — a Facebook group followed by more than 5,000 users from around B.C. — also posted warnings about Slobodian. The post has been shared on social media more than 2,800 times.