Lawyer puts $375,000 lien on pig farm

Pickton's lawyer wants to make sure his fees are paid

Kim Bolan
Vancouver Sun

Friday, May 03, 2002

The lawyer for accused killer Robert (Willy) Pickton has put a $375,000 lien on the Port Coquitlam property now being searched by police in connection with the disappearance of 54 women from the Downtown Eastside, The Vancouver Sun has learned.

Peter Ritchie filed the lien last month on the property, which is one-third owned by Pickton, according to records obtained from the B.C. Land Title Registry.

The lien -- in the form of a mortgage -- is to guarantee coverage of the legal fees in the high-profile case, in which Pickton is facing six counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of six of the missing women.

Robert Pickton, is facing six first-degree
murder counts.

Ritchie said Thursday the move is "some security" against future legal costs.

"We have no idea what legal expenses are going to be," Ritchie said. "It is not all that unusual. It certainly does not indicate that's what the legal fees are."

The documents, filed April 8, indicate the mortgage by Ritchie is "further collateral security up to the principal amount of $375,000 for a current or running account between the mortgagor and the mortgagee" related to legal fees.

The property, at 953 Dominion Ave., is owned by Picton and his brother and sister. It is assessed at more than $3 million, but Ritchie's is not the only debt against the property. A lien has also been filed by Karin Joesbury, who launched a civil case last month against Pickton for the alleged murder of her daughter Andrea.

Joesbury's lawyer filed a "certificate of pending litigation" against the property the same day the civil case was filed in Victoria Supreme Court. A copy of Joesbury's suit is attached to the Land Title documents.

There is also a $1.3 million mortgage on the farm from the Delta Credit Union.

Pickton made a brief court appearance in Port Coquitlam Thursday via video monitor from the North Fraser pre-trial jail where he has been held since his arrest Feb. 22.

As he has been in earlier appearances, Pickton was dressed in red prison garb and stared straight ahead, expressionless, as he quietly acknowledged that he could hear the courtroom proceedings.

Crown counsel Michael Petrie asked for the matter to be put over to June 11.

Ritchie told the court he wanted Petrie to disclose to him before the next appearance a list of witnesses that the Crown intends to call in the November preliminary hearing.

"We are pressing him for a witness list to be provided before the next court appearance," Ritchie said.

Petrie said he could provide a tentative list, but would not be in a position to make a final decision on witnesses so long before the fall hearing.

"I wouldn't want to be placed in a position of creating a final list by June 11," Petrie said.

Ritchie also said in court that he had not yet received police notes from Petrie, though he has already received "an amorphous mass of disclosure" from the Crown totalling more than 5,000 pages.

Police first executed a search warrant at the Dominion Avenue property on Feb. 5, charging the 52-year-old farmer with the first two counts of murder 17 days later.

The other four charges have been added since and two weeks ago, police executed a search warrant on a second Port Coquitlam property owned by Pickton and his siblings on Burns Road.

Outside court Thursday, a relative of one of the missing women said she was disappointed no additional charges have been laid in almost a month.

"It seems like everything is at a stall right now," said Sandra Gagnon, whose sister Janet Henry is on the list of missing women. 

 Copyright  2002 Vancouver Sun

Courtesy of the Vancouver Sun 




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Updated: August 21, 2016