Tim Felger is shown outside of the Chilliwack Law Courts in September 2013 during the start of his trial on drug charges in Mission. (Abbotsford News file photo)

Pot activist convicted of assault for feigning punch at lawyer

Tim Felger, previously charged in Abbotsford and Mission, loses chance to appeal

Pot activist Tim Felger has lost his bid to appeal a 2015 assault conviction related to an incident in which he feigned a punch at a lawyer in the Abbotsford courthouse.

Felger previously received an 18-month suspended sentence for the offence, but he argued the ruling judge erred in convicting him.

The complainant in the assault charge is a lawyer who was acting for Felger’s former spouse in a family law matter.

The incident in question arose during a break in proceedings.

Evidence presented at trial included video recordings from the hallway in the Abbotsford courthouse.

The recordings are not a continuous feed – they record a digital frame every .25 seconds – and they did not capture a punch thrown toward the lawyer, according to court documents.

But the ruling judge said the quality of the video also did not prove that a punch had not been thrown.

As well, both the complainant and her daughter – another lawyer, who was present at the time – testified the incident had occurred.

Felger denied throwing a punch, and his application for an appeal stated that “the judge failed to adequately explain how he could have thrown or feigned a punch, given his body position and the fact that his young daughter was holding on to his legs, as depicted in the video.”

The Crown countered that the judge’s conclusion about Felger’s guilt was based on his “findings of fact” and the credibility of the witnesses.

The judge denied Felger’s request for an appeal, saying that Felger failed to establish “any palpable and overriding error on the part of the (trial) judge in reaching the conclusion that he did.”

A suspended sentence means that Felger has to abide by the conditions of his probation or he will receive a criminal record and could go to jail.

Felger formerly operated the Da Kine store on Essendene Avenue in Abbotsford. He was charged with selling marijuana from that location in 2009, after which the City of Abbotsford cancelled his business licence.

Felger was acquitted at trial, but the Crown won an appeal, and Felger was convicted at a second trial.

After he opened his Das Bhang store in Mission in 2010, he faced similar charges there.

The judge in that case ruled that Felger’s charter rights had been breached in a portion of the investigation, and he was convicted in 2013 of only one charge – possession of marijuana – and sentenced to 14 days, time he had already served.

Felger has also repeatedly run for office in Abbotsford.

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