Deer trap vandal to be sentenced

Devin Kazakoff pleads guilty to mischief for role in deer trap vandalism in Kimberley, will be sentenced Wednesday.

Judge Ron Webb will hand down his judgement on Wednesday in the matter of Devin Kazakoff and the vandalism of a deer trap in Marysville in February 2014.

Crown and defence counsel presented their submissions to Webb, as Kazakoff pleaded guilty to a charge of mischief under $5,000.

The crown elected to proceed summarily, which carries the potential result of a permanent criminal record for Kazakoff. The defence is seeking a conditional discharge, which will not result in a criminal record.

Also at issue is the amount of financial restitution, as Crown is seeking roughly $3,800 while the defence is arguing for restitution of approximately $500.

The matter revolves around the vandalism of two deer traps in Marysville by Kazakoff and Lucky Sikora early last year.

Kazakoff expressed remorse for his actions and said the vandalism was done in the heat of the moment after all legal attempts to prevent a deer cull were exhausted.

Crown countered that his actions were calculated and deliberate, noting he drove down from Invermere—his hometown—to conduct the vandalism of the traps in Marysville.

Laying out the nature of the charges and the file, Crown counsel described the events lead up to and during the offence, which was the vandalism of a clover deer trap in February 2014.

After Kimberley was given a permit to cull deer in December 2013, clover traps were deployed in February 2014 to proceed with the cull.

Five traps were set up and conservation officers also placed trail cams with night vision capabilities to watch the traps in the event of vandalism.

A resident observed a trap being vandalized on Feb. 27 at 1: 30 a.m. and called conservation officers, who eventually located an individual running alongside the road who was carrying a sack over his shoulder and dressed in black with balaclava covering his face.

After disappearing, COs observed a black-dressed figure getting into a yellow car and failed to stop it after attempting to block the road.

Police received a description and license plate information and located the vehicle. The sack, which was filled with clover trap netting and knives, was found buried in the woods after a track from Police Dog Services.

Crown submitted photographic evidence from the trail camera, along with receipts of costs incurred by the City of Kimberley for the damaged traps. Social media posts by Kazakoff on a deer cull in Oak Bay and other media reports were also submitted as evidence.