Alleged speeding YouTube motorcyclist found not guilty

A provincial court judge has ruled that a motorcyclist accused of riding 300 km/h on a B.C. highway is not guilty of dangerous driving.

Randy Scott, 26, was on trial for allegedly riding motorcycle at 300km/h in YouTube video

Judge said no one could prove Randy Scott was riding the bike 2:18

A provincial court judge has ruled that a motorcyclist accused of riding 300 km/h on a B.C. highway is not guilty of dangerous driving.

Randy Scott, 26, faced charges after police became aware of the incident — which took place on the Trans Canada Highway on Vancouver Island in April last year — through a video posted on YouTube.

Provincial Court Judge Robert Higgenbotham said that there was problems with the police investigation into Scott, and that while he agreed that a blue Yamaha R1 motorcycle seized by police during the investigation was in fact the bike in the video, he did not think the Crown proved beyond reasonable doubt that Scott was operating the bike at the time the video was filmed.

Scott's lawyer Michael Mulligan had earlier asked the judge to throw the case out because alleged mistakes by police made it impossible for his client to get a fair trial.

Mulligan told the court police failed to follow up on another possible suspect, and sold the seized motorcycle through civil forfeiture, so it wasn't preserved as evidence.

"They plainly did get a case of tunnel vision and didn't pursue other obvious leads and then, as well, they didn't preserve what you would think would be the most important piece of evidence, which is the motorcycle."

Saanich police confiscated a blue Yamaha R1 motorcycle that was believed to be the bike shown going over 300 km/h on the Trans Canada Highway in a YouTube video. The motorcycle was seized without a warrant and sold according to provisions within the B.C. Civil Forfeiture Act, and wasn't preserved as evidence. (CBC)

The motorcycle in question was a key point of contention throughout the trial. Saanich police confiscated the bike, which is registered to Scott's mother, without a warrant despite the lead investigator's admission that he knew a warrant was necessary.

On Thursday morning, the judge said that police acted "unlawfully and in bad faith" and violated Scott's Charter rights by seizing the motorcycle, but allowed the evidence to be used in court anyways, saying the breach didn't outweigh the need to protect the public.

Because the motorcycle belonged to Scott's mother, she was heavily fined for the incident. 

Scott will not be able to get the bike back and is not entitled to compensation.

With files from the CBC's Stephen Smart

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.