We're angry ...
... and "leather-clad."
When RCMP officer Cpl. Benjamin “Monty” Robinson finally appears in Surrey provincial court, it won’t just be lawyers and a judge on hand.
A group of angry, leather-clad motorcyclists will be in the gallery, to vent over his alleged involvement in the death of one of their own.
Orion Hutchinson, a 21-year-old motorcyclist, was killed on Oct. 25, 2008, when Robinson’s Jeep crashed into Hutchinson’s motorcycle at a Tsawwassen intersection.
Robinson, off-duty at the time, identified himself to witnesses and then left the scene with his two children. Robinson later told a B.C. Supreme Court that he knocked back two shots of vodka at home before returning to the intersection, where he failed a breathalyzer test.
On Tuesday morning, a group from the B.C. Coalition of Motorcyclists — who were expecting Robinson to appear in courtroom 101 — left abruptly when his next appearance was pushed to March 23.
They expected Robinson to make a plea and set a trial date. But a change in Robinson’s defence counsel delayed his case.
It was not the first time the bikers have made the trip to the Surrey courthouse, only to leave disappointed.
“It’s been five times now,” Adele Tompkins, executive director of the B.C. Coalition of Motorcyclists, said outside court. “I’m getting a little cranky.”
The bikers plan rallies for all of Robinson’s scheduled court dates through a Facebook page called Crown vs. Robinson, which has 479 members.
Tompkins said members can’t stomach the fact that Delta police recommended Robinson face a charge of impaired driving causing death, but the attorney-general’s office decided to proceed with the lesser charge of obstruction of justice.
“Had the situation [in the crash] been reversed, we think the outcome [on charges] would be different,” Tompkins said.
Some bikers, such as Justin Ball, expressed their distaste for Robinson’s record of police service in extreme language.
Robinson was the lead Mountie on the scene when Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died following a number of Taser hits at Vancouver International Airport in 2007.
There were only about 20 bikers on hand, but Ball said numbers were down “because it’s Tuesday morning.”
Unlike a previous anti-Robinson rally at the courthouse in December that was attended by about 150 motorcyclists, there was no shouting at police officers on Tuesday.