Giesbrecht murder trial continues

Smithers court hears testimony of decades of domestic abuse in Burns Lake murder trial.

  • Feb. 5, 2019 5:00 p.m.

By Thom Barker

The trial of Albert Giesbrecht for the alleged 2017 murder of Raymond Bishop is continuing this week at B.C. Supreme Court in Smithers.

Today (Tuesday, Feb. 5), Justice David Crossin heard testimony of decades of alleged verbal and physical abuse between Giesbrecht and his wife Susan Giesbrecht, who separated in 2015.

Kathleen Gardner, Susan’s sister, testified she had personally witnessed Albert throwing Susan around by the hair, slamming her into a wall, throwing wood and shovels of dirt at her and kicking at her, in addition to constant screaming, swearing and name-calling.

Gardner also told the court that a few days before Bishop was found shot to death near Francois Lake on May 18, 2017, he and Susan had decided they were going to take their relationship public and had gone into Burns Lake together.

READ MORE: Protest over Giesbrecht bail release

Stephen Giesbrecht, the defendant’s son, also testified his father had been verbally, violently and emotionally abusive to his mother as far back into his childhood as he could remember until he left home in 1995.

The Crown, represented by prosecutor Nina Purewal, introduced text messages between Stephen and his father, and questioned the witness about Albert’s state of mind around the time of the alleged murder.

Stephen said their relationship had deteriorated in the few months before, and on a couple of occasions his father had asked if he knew that his mother was “shacking up with Ray Bishop” and had said that he (Albert) “thought [Ray] was his friend.”

READ MORE: Giesbrecht re-arrested after bail release

On cross-examination, defence attorney Terry La Liberté tried to pin the witnesses down to specific instances and dates of abuse and had them admit they had never seen Albert actually strike his wife.

The defence asked Gardner why, if the alleged abuse was so pervasive, she had never gone to the police. Gardner said she felt it was not her place to do so.

Both witnesses also answered on cross-examination that they had not heard Albert make any threats against either Susan or Bishop.

The trial is scheduled to continue through Feb. 22.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

Cullen remains uncertain about political future

Says he’ll make decision in early March

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

New SD54 superintendent named

Assistant superintendent Michael McDiarmid promoted to fill vacancy of outgoing Chris van der Mark.

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read