Rare perjury charge sticks
to retired RCMP trial expert
Keith Fraser, Vancouver Province, July 26, 2011
A retired Mountie has quietly pleaded guilty to perjury arising from his testimony at the trial of a mother accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter.
After entering the plea in B.C. Provincial Court in Vancouver, former Staff-Sgt. Ross Spenard received a nine-month conditional sentence.
Spenard testified as an expert in bloodstain analysis at the May 2009 trial of Charlie Rae Lincoln, 23, who was charged and convicted of the second-degree murder of her daughter Hope in the remote coastal town of Bella Bella.
The officer was exposed in court as the author of a damning forensic report that was later called not scientifically sound by other experts.
Spenard, who was an RCMP officer for 32 years, had initially claimed the report was written by another police officer.
But under cross-examination by defence lawyer Matthew Nathanson, he admitted to misleading the court.
B.C. Supreme Court Justice John Truscott told the jury that Spenard was the perfect example of a person who clearly lied under oath and violated his oath to tell the truth.
That conclusion is so clear and convincing, and so serious, that I suggest you should consider his evidence to be completely tainted and without any value whatsoever, said the judge.
At the time the perjury charge was laid in January, RCMP said a code of conduct review began when the force learned of the allegations.
When Spenard retired in 2010 that review came to an end. Police said a review of all of Spenards bloodstain pattern analysis files had been conducted and no significant concerns had surfaced.