B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk).

Man seeks bail after confession motivated to kill common-law wife: B.C. Crown

Wade Skiffington’s confession about killing Wanda Martin in Richmond was recorded on a hidden camera

A man seeking bail while awaiting the possibility of a new trial had a “she is leaving me motive” to kill his common-law wife in B.C. in 1994 and his confession to an undercover officer should stand, a Crown counsel says.

Hank Reiner told a B.C. Supreme Court judge on Wednesday that Wade Skiffington was angry and jealous and feared he would lose his spouse and his young son.

Reiner said a supposed crime boss did not threaten Skiffington, whose confession about killing Wanda Martin in Richmond was recorded on a hidden video camera and shown in court.

The Newfoundland and Labrador resident is being defended by lawyers from Innocence Canada, which works to exonerate people believed to be wrongly convicted. They maintain police used a so-called Mr. Big operation to coerce a confession that was not credible.

Skiffington was found guilty of second-degree murder in 2001 and is serving a life sentence.

Last year, Innocence Canada asked the federal Justice Department to review the conviction, which is ongoing, while it helps Skiffington apply for bail in hopes the case goes to the B.C. Court of Appeal and a new trial is ordered.

Reiner said that while defence lawyer Philip Campbell argued his client would not have lied to the fictitious crime boss who used violence as an intimidation tactic, the evidence shows Skiffington is repeatedly caught lying to the head of the fake criminal gang that recruited him.

“To Mr. Big, he vacillated between saying he was innocent, he hired a hit man, to again being innocent and to finally confessing. Can anyone seriously argue that Mr. Big would have to express anger and frustration in that context?”

Reiner said Skiffington’s demeanour in the video recording should also be noted, adding he appears to be searching his memory and seems nervous.

“It is a small wonder that Mr. Campbell would like you not to consider demeanour,” Reiner told Justice Michael Tammen.

Mr. Big stings typically involve police setting up elaborate scenarios designed to extract confessions from suspects who are told trust, loyalty and honesty are prized above everything by a group that becomes a family and promises inducements.

A Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2014 involved a Newfoundland and Labrador man convicted of drowning his twin daughters after such a sting by the RCMP.

The top court ruled Nelson Hart’s confession to undercover police was inadmissible and two first-degree murder charges against him were withdrawn.

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Editorial: Federal byelection, if it happens, is no reason for voter fatigue

If indeed a byelection is called to choose a Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP, we might as well embrace it

Lantzville soccer player a first-round major-league draft pick

Callum Montgomery goes fourth overall to FC Dallas in MLS SuperDraft

Manly will give it another go with federal Green Party

Paul Manly to be acclaimed as party’s Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidate

Nanaimo council concerned about Terminal Avenue supportive housing project

Residents point to a lack of safety and security in the neighbourhood

Transport truck driver identified as one victim in double fatal head-on crash

Clifford Bishop, 54, a resident of Cassidy, had been a truck driver since he was 18

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

Awards finalists announced after ‘good year for business’

Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards organizers reveal 85 finalists

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the #MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external watchdog

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Canada needs a digital ID system, bankers association says

The Department of Finance last week officially launched its public consultation on the merits of open banking

Second fatal crash occurs in Alberni Valley

Traffic on Highway 4 is being re-routed as investigators are en route

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Most Read