A 29-year-old man arrested by RCMP carrying drugs, brass knuckles and a revolver with a sawed-off barrel was released on bail Thursday to a treatment centre.
B.C. Supreme Court Hope Hyslop ruled the Crown's case was so weak -due to RCMP violation of Ryan Ellison's rights - that he should not be jailed pending a trial.
"It's likely the evidence seized from Mr. Ellison is inadmissible," Hyslop said.
Ellison's lawyer, Jeremy Jensen, argued RCMP were acting on "a hunch" when members saw the crystal meth addict on Yew Street in North Kamloops.
Jensen argued the arresting RCMP ignored the law when they searched Ellison.
On Jan. 3 this year, officers were on patrol and recognized Ellison. Hyslop said police were aware of his history and pending trial for assault for allegedly using bear spray on a person.
Under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms police need to have information or belief beyond mere suspicion in order to search someone.
Ellison appeared nervous when police approached, Hyslop said in a statement of facts. He first handed over a small amount of crystal meth to police but still appeared fidgety.
"He was looking around in the constable's opinion for an escape route," Hyslop said.
Ellison then produced a set of brass knuckles. Police searched him and found a .22 revolver with a cut-off barrel, typically done to make guns easy to conceal.
Hyslop said Ellison has a criminal record as a youth and for driving while prohibited. He was laid off from work at a Merritt mill and his criminal behaviour recently escalated.
Ellison was jailed in January after his arrest but was released Thursday to attend a drug treatment centre in Surrey.
"It can address Mr. Ellison's addictions," Hyslop said.
Conditions of his bail include that be report immediately to the centre, not possess weapons and not consume alcohol or drugs.
No date has been set for trial.