A man who served a jail sentence for manslaughter was found not guilty Friday of uttering threats against his landlord.
A trial was held Friday morning for Steven Bartkowski, charged with two counts of uttering threats in an incident Jan. 6 this year.
Crown prosecutor Catriona Elliott said landlord Satnam Heer was in the midst of evicting Bartkowski for non-payment of rent. Heer was moving Bartkowski’s possessions out of the basement suite of his home.
Bartkowksi came home from a weekend in jail, serving an intermittent sentence, to see Heer’s trailer full of his belongings.
“’Don’t bother me, I just came home from jail — I’ll punch your face,’” Heer testified Bartkowski told him.
Barkowski then began to carry his belongings back into the house. Heer also said his tenant threatened to smash windows in the house.
Bartkowski took the witness stand in his own defence. He claimed he was not angry with his landlord and threatened only to turn off the house’s power off from inside his suite if his own utilities were cut off.
Provincial court judge Sheri Donegan said she had problems accepting testimony from both men.
“It’s not a matter of who I believe… . I don’t know what occurred,” she said.
Bartkowski was one of three men charged in the death of Noel Thibault in 2002. Thibault’s charred body was found in a car at a gravel pit in Victoria, according to reports in Victoria’s Times-Colonist newspaper.
Bartkowski was initially found guilty of first-degree murder, which was later appealed. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2007.