The RCMP officer involved in the 2008 crash that killed Orion Hutchinson is on trial for obstruction of justice, but for the young man's family the real crime is that Cpl. Monty Robinson left the scene without trying to help the injured motorcyclist.
"We've known all this for three-and-a-half years. This has been our ongoing nightmare... I've lost my only son. My daughter has lost her only brother... and we've always maintained, ever since the very beginning, that the true crime here is the utter lack of responsibility and basic humanity shown by the accused at the scene," Orion Hutchinson's mother, Judith Hutchinson, told reporters outside the B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster Tuesday afternoon.
"And the fact that he is in a position of public trust... makes it all the more heinous."
Robinson, who was off-duty at the time of the collision, testified Tuesday that his main concern following the fatal crash was the well being of his children and getting them away from the scene as he was concerned it could be traumatizing.
He said after getting out of his vehicle and seeing Hutchinson lying in the street, he yelled for someone to get help. Robinson testified there were people on the scene attending to the injured man and he quickly left to take his children home.
Hutchinson was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash, which happened at about 10:15 p.m. on Oct. 25, 2008. The 21-year-old was thrown from his motorcycle after colliding with Robinson's Jeep at the corner of 6th Avenue and Gilchrist Drive in Tsawwassen.
Robinson's obstruction of justice charge stems from his actions following the crash. After taking his children home, he returned 10 minutes later and advised police he had two beers at a party earlier and two shots of vodka at home.
He was arrested and given two breathalyzer tests at 11:56 p.m. and 12:16 a.m. Robinson's readings registered at .12 and .10.
The Mountie testified Tuesday morning that he never intentionally misled police and he had no concerns about the amount of alcohol he drank before the crash.
Under questioning by his own lawyer, Robinson said he turned to alcohol following the crash for comfort.
"Why? I don't know. I wasn't thinking. I went for what had given me comfort," he said about downing two shots of vodka at home before returning to the scene.
Robinson denied deliberately drinking the vodka to throw off the breathalyzer and any investigation into the crash.
During his testimony, Robinson also admitted drinking five beers over several hours at the party. He said he had no concerns about his ability to drive and that he could not have been over the legal limit at the time of the crash.
Under cross examination, he said his immediate recollection at the time he was initially questioned by police was that he'd had a couple of beers and he said he did not have time to elaborate. Once back at the station, he was told by his lawyer not to give any new information to police and he followed that advice.
On Monday, Dr. Paul Sobey, an addictions expert who was retained by the defence to evaluate Robinson, testified that, in his opinion, the officer's actions following the crash were the result of a "severe" alcohol addiction. He also said it was "quite obvious that he was depressed in 2008."
During his testimony, Robinson described layers of crisis in his life - which included the non-fatal shooting of a suspect while he was stationed in Chase and the fatal Tasering incident at Vancouver International Airport - that led to an increase in his alcohol consumption and eventually to a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder.
Robinson described having flashbacks, night terrors and sweats, and increased drinking under the strain of the intense media and public scrutiny following the incident at YVR.
Crown prosecutor Kris Pechet pointed out that in 2006 Robinson was one of 36 RCMP officers to take an undercover officer training course.
To be accepted into the course, he said, Robinson had to undergo a psychological evaluation and he was given, and passed, an annual psychological assessment in 2007 and '08 as well.
The Crown wrapped up its case Monday morning with testimony from a woman who testified that Robinson told a group of people at a 2007 Christmas party how to avoid an impaired driving charge.
Robinson denied making those statements at the party.
The Crown and defence will enter their final arguments in court starting Wednesday morning.