Area resident Robert Young was found not guilty of dangerous driving and assault with a weapon on Monday in provincial court in Nelson. The alleged weapon in question was his vehicle.
The charges stemmed from an incident on April 20, 2015 on the North Shore property of Young’s neighbour, Carolyn Beck. According to court testimony, a fence Beck was building between the two properties added to already difficult relations between the two neighbours. Andrew Watkins, who was living with Beck, testified that he was kneeling on the asphalt in Beck’s driveway using a power drill for fence construction when Young drove into the yard and screeched to a sudden stop close to Watkins, appearing to threaten to run him over.
Following a two-day trial this month, Judge Donald Sperry concluded that Young was not speeding, and that a number of other vehicles parked in the crowded driveway that day caused Young to not notice Watkins until the last moment.
Sperry said he believed Young stopped further from Watkins than Watkins testified. He also said video evidence from Beck’s security cameras was not reliable because footage from different cameras had been spliced together. He said there was insufficient evidence that Young had used his vehicle as a weapon.
However, Sperry found Young guilty of a lesser charge of driving without due care and attention, which brought a fine of $300.