John Brittain is escorted from the RCMP detachment in Penticton, B.C., on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, in this image made from video. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amy Smart

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

The former home of the Penticton man accused of fatally shooting four people was allegedly vandalized.

Approximately $10,000 in damage allegedly occurred at the home where John Brittain’s ex-wife still resides.

The information came forward in Penticton provincial court on Wednesday while Crown counsel was re-applying for a no contact order between the accused and his ex-wife.

READ MORE: No contact order approved between accused Penticton killer and his ex-wife

Brittain, 68, is charged with the murder of four of his ex-wife’s neighbours — Darlene Knippelberg, Susan and Barry Wonch and Rudi Winter — in April.

READ MORE: Still months of investigation left into Penticton murders

“About two or three weeks ago Mrs. (Katherine) Brittain’s home was seriously vandalized with approximately $10,000 worth of damage that was done. There is an insurance claim pending and there is also a criminal charge pending and Mrs. Brittain has become even more emotionally fragile and isolated,” said defence lawyer Paul McMurray.

READ MORE: Landlord of alleged Penticton shooter recounts deadly day

While Brittain is not listed as the co-owner of the home, according to his counsel, he does have a significant interest as he has provided her with financial assistance for the upkeep of the residence. McMurray argued the Brittain’s should be allowed contact because they rely on one another for emotional support and the accused’s ex-wife continues to be “more isolated and more ostracized by the community.”

READ MORE: Alleged Penticton gunman seen ‘angrily yelling’ before opening fire

This is the third time the Crown has put forward the application for renewal as they wait for complete disclosure to be available from RCMP.

Crown counsel Andrew Vandersluys said the accused and his ex-wife have maintained a close relationship and potentially she will be called as a Crown witness as RCMP are still investigating documentation that was seized from her home in relation to the four murder charges.

In order to maintain the integrity of the investigation and the evidence, Vandersluys said it is important that the pair do not have contact unless through a lawyer who has read the order.

Judge Lisa Wyatt said considering the issues brought forward by Crown, and that the investigation remains in early days, the no contact order will stand.

Vandersluys said defence counsel is seeking a limited preliminary inquiry, however they do not have an idea of how much time will be required for that or how many witnesses will be called. He anticipates they will have more information on that at the next court appearance on Aug. 14 at 9:30 a.m.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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