Giesbrecht murder trial continues

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

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 divorced 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

Smithers golfer competes in university golf nationals

Mitchell Turko shot a final round 73 to finish tied for 24th

Climate, reconciliation and industry top all candidates agenda in Terrace

Debate was the candidate’s last opportunity to address voters in a public forum

Smithers fighter wins bronze at karate worlds

Lando Ball narrowly missed a chance to fight in the gold medal match in Austria

Climate change, economy and reconciliation take centre stage at Oct. 15 All-Candidates Forum

Six of the eight candidates were in attendance at the Smithers event

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read