B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk).

Man seeks bail after confession motivated to kill common-law wife: B.C. Crown

Wade Skiffington’s confession about killing Wanda Martin in Richmond was recorded on a hidden camera

A man seeking bail while awaiting the possibility of a new trial had a “she is leaving me motive” to kill his common-law wife in B.C. in 1994 and his confession to an undercover officer should stand, a Crown counsel says.

Hank Reiner told a B.C. Supreme Court judge on Wednesday that Wade Skiffington was angry and jealous and feared he would lose his spouse and his young son.

Reiner said a supposed crime boss did not threaten Skiffington, whose confession about killing Wanda Martin in Richmond was recorded on a hidden video camera and shown in court.

The Newfoundland and Labrador resident is being defended by lawyers from Innocence Canada, which works to exonerate people believed to be wrongly convicted. They maintain police used a so-called Mr. Big operation to coerce a confession that was not credible.

Skiffington was found guilty of second-degree murder in 2001 and is serving a life sentence.

Last year, Innocence Canada asked the federal Justice Department to review the conviction, which is ongoing, while it helps Skiffington apply for bail in hopes the case goes to the B.C. Court of Appeal and a new trial is ordered.

Reiner said that while defence lawyer Philip Campbell argued his client would not have lied to the fictitious crime boss who used violence as an intimidation tactic, the evidence shows Skiffington is repeatedly caught lying to the head of the fake criminal gang that recruited him.

“To Mr. Big, he vacillated between saying he was innocent, he hired a hit man, to again being innocent and to finally confessing. Can anyone seriously argue that Mr. Big would have to express anger and frustration in that context?”

Reiner said Skiffington’s demeanour in the video recording should also be noted, adding he appears to be searching his memory and seems nervous.

“It is a small wonder that Mr. Campbell would like you not to consider demeanour,” Reiner told Justice Michael Tammen.

Mr. Big stings typically involve police setting up elaborate scenarios designed to extract confessions from suspects who are told trust, loyalty and honesty are prized above everything by a group that becomes a family and promises inducements.

A Supreme Court of Canada decision in 2014 involved a Newfoundland and Labrador man convicted of drowning his twin daughters after such a sting by the RCMP.

The top court ruled Nelson Hart’s confession to undercover police was inadmissible and two first-degree murder charges against him were withdrawn.

Camille Bains, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Intern gives Port Alberni’s museum artifacts an update

St. John’s man travelled more than 7,000 kms to assist with curatorial duties

Port Alberni’s Kari Trott set to shine at Canada Winter Games

Trott is one of two Special Olympics BC figure skaters invited to the national event

BCHL: Bulldogs’ Hawthorne commits to NCAA Wildcats

20-year-old goaltender earns scholarship to play Div. 1 hockey next year

Port Alberni realtor trekking the Sahara Desert in support of ACAWS

Chris Fenton of The Fenton Team will spend five days hiking in the Sahara Desert

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Parksville addictions treatment advocate to speak in Port Alberni

Recovering addict Kelly seeks to share more of her story with second event

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

Most Read