Terrace RCMP officer pleads guilty to alleged assault

Sentencing delayed after local judge recuses himself and second sitting judge here to allow for out-of-town judge to give sentence.

  • Aug. 9, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Cell phone video obtained by The Terrace Standard shows a man being hit by an arresting officer

A police officer charged with the alleged assault of a young man has pleaded guilty but will await sentencing until an out-of-town judge can be scheduled for his next court date.

Bruce Lofroth entered a plea of guilty and chose a provincial court judge, which is a formality when a person pleads guilty where the trial is skipped and the case goes straight to a sentencing hearing.

But this sentencing was adjourned so that another judge could give the sentence.

Defence lawyer Brad Smith said that since Lofroth has spent 16 years here as a police officer, it would be better to have an out-of-town judge to oversee his sentencing.

The assault charge stems from a May 28, 2014 video showing an officer physically restraining a male who was on the ground in front of a business on Lazelle Ave.

Commanding officer of the Terrace RCMP detachment inspector Dana Hart, who has since retired, ordered a Code of Conduct investigation and asked that the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) step in with its own investigation after becoming aware of the video on Oct. 7, 2014.

After completing its own investigation, the IIO submitted a report to Crown lawyers, who decided after studying the report that a charge was appropriate.

Judge Terence Wright agreed and said neither he nor judge Calvin Struyk, the other sitting judge here in Terrace, would do Lofroth’s sentencing.

He adjourned the case to the judicial case manager to set the next court date for Lofroth and schedule a sentencing judge.

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