Burnaby man convicted in Stanley Cup riot case

Three years after the fact, a Burnaby man has been convicted for his part in the 2011 Stanley Cup riot in downtown Vancouver.

Curtis Blaine Hill was recently convicted of participating in the riot and of break-and-enter with the intent of committing an indictable offence.

Hill, a North Burnaby resident, and a friend had been drinking before heading downtown. They drank some more when they arrived before the end of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup final when the Vancouver Canucks lost to the Boston Bruins.

When the riot started, they did not leave the area despite the efforts of police to disperse the crowd. Instead, Hill, then 33, and his friend were among those that broke into the London Drugs store at the corner of Georgia and Granville streets.

At one point, Hill testified he did not know there was a riot until he was affected by the tear gas, something Provincial Court Judge M. Giardini said in his reasons for judgment was "simply not credible."

Hill claimed he was only at the store trying to get his friend to leave, according the judgment. The friend claimed Hill never tried to do so.

In fact, London Drugs surveillance video showed Hill walking into the store directly behind his friend. Once inside, instead of following his friend, Hill is seen heading off into a different direction.

Giardini could not conclude from the video footage that Hill stole anything once inside, but noted that is not necessary to convict on the break-and-enter charge.

Hill also argued his charges should be stayed because his rights were infringed upon.

The original officer assigned to his case used photos to confirm Hill's identity through his probation officer at the time, but in June 2012 decided not to lay any charges.

As that officer did not notify his supervisor he was closing the file, another officer was assigned to the case in January 2013. She contacted him through Hill's father. Hill was arrested and released pending charges. Crown counsel eventually approved charges that June.

Hill argued the delay between the first and second officer's investigations affected his right to a fair trial within a reasonable time. He also claimed the fact his photo was not removed from the Vancouver Police Department's riot suspects website until February 2013 was an abuse of process that amounted to "public shaming."

Giardini ruled against Hill's Charter claims.

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