Weapons trial begins after 2010 shootout

NANAIMO – Details surrounding a shootout that happened on Wilgress Road in May 2010 to be revealed during a trial that began Monday.

Details are starting to emerge in a shootout that happened on Wilgress Road in May 2010 during the weapons trial that began Monday.

Simon Phillip Dockerill is charged with possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition.

He was initially charged with murder following the late afternoon incident, which killed John Charles Borden, 47, and injured Dockerill and another man. But last July, Crown counsel requested that the murder charge be dropped following developments in the police investigation, which satisfied the Crown that the deceased initiated the exchange of gunfire that led to his death and Dockerill responded with an apparent act of self-defence.

His 10-day trial to deal with the remaining weapons charge started Monday and is expected to continue through next week.

On Tuesday, the Crown called one of Dockerill’s friends, Steve Woolnough, to the stand.

Woolnough, 33, testified that Borden had told him on two separate occasions, once in person about two months before the incident and the second time over the phone about a week and a half before, that he was going to shoot Dockerill.

“He said he was going to shoot him or the cops, whoever came first,” said Woolnough, adding that he didn’t tell Dockerill about what Borden had said the first time because he thought Borden was just “blowing smoke,” but the second time he felt that Borden was serious and so he told Dockerill about both threats the weekend before the gunfight.

“I only took the first one seriously after things progressed,” he said.

Woolnough testified that he went with Dockerill to visit Borden at his apartment on Wilgress Road, although he couldn’t remember how long before the incident this visit took place, just that it was on Borden’s birthday.

He said Borden held a gun in their faces at point-blank range, then Dockerill calmed him down and the pair left shortly after.

Woolnough said he wasn’t overly disturbed or nervous by the incident.

“It may sound weird, but it’s just Johnny,” he said. “He did weird stuff. He was unpredictable.”

Woolnough also testified that days before the shootout, he was at Dockerill’s residence in Nanoose Bay to pick up a raccoon trap and Dockerill brought out what Woolnough recognized as a bulletproof vest.

On Monday, Cpl. Phyllis Nielsen with Nanaimo RCMP, an identification officer at the time of the shootout on May 25, 2010, testified about what she observed when she arrived at the scene of the shooting – the parking lot where the deceased lived – including blood stains, first aid wrappings, what appeared to be shell casings, broken glass amongst the vehicles in the parking lot and broken windows in nearby businesses.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Dan Straathof also testified Monday morning that Borden was shot seven times – four times in the chest, once in the back of the neck, which passed through to the chin, once in the right arm and once in the groin area.

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