British Columbia

Ex-Mountie avoids jail time after pleading guilty to misconduct in Surrey Six murder investigation

A former RCMP officer won't serve jail time after pleading guilty to breach of trust and obstruction of justice in connection with his misconduct in the investigation into the deadliest gangland shooting in B.C.'s history.

Former sergeant Derek Brassington was discharged from the force in 2013

Derek Brassington seen in 2013. The former Mountie pleaded guilty to charges in connection to his misconduct in the investigation into the deadliest gangland shooting in B.C.'s history. (CBC)

A former RCMP officer won't serve jail time after pleading guilty to breach of trust and obstruction of justice in connection with his misconduct in the investigation into the deadliest gangland shooting in B.C.'s history.

Derek Brassington, a former sergeant, entered his guilty plea in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Friday morning. 

Later in the afternoon, he was sentenced to two years less a day to be served in the community under a number of conditions. He's also been ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution.

Details of and evidence around Brassington's misconduct are protected by a publication ban, but hearing them read aloud in court had the former officer sobbing.

The Surrey Six 

Brassington was charged with a total of seven offences in 2011. All were related to his role in the investigation into the so-called Surrey Six killings, which left six men dead on the 15th floor of the Balmoral Tower on Oct. 19, 2007.

At the time of the killings, Metro Vancouver was in the midst of a gang war dominated by a deadly rivalry between the Red Scorpions and the UN gangs.

An RCMP cruiser blocks the road leading to an apartment building in Surrey, B.C. on Oct. 20, 2007, after six men were killed in a bloody massacre. (Richard Lam/Canadian Press)

Four of the men who were killed in the highrise were described by police as having criminal ties, but the other two — Chris Mohan and Ed Schellenberg — were innocent bystanders

On Friday, Brassington sat up straight in the prisoner's box in a dark suit and black tie. At times, he leaned his head back against the glass backboard. At others, he leaned forward and cried quietly with his face buried in his hands.

He stood a head taller than his lawyer when he arose in court to admit his guilt on both counts.

"Guilty, my Lord," Brassington said in a loud, clear voice.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Arne Silverman's reasons for Friday's sentencing decision are also protected under the publication ban.

Other condition include house arrest, a curfew and 100 hours of community service.

The former officer was discharged from the RCMP in 2013 for a matter unrelated to the Surrey Six investigation.

Six men charged, five convicted

Six men were charged in connection with the shootings.

Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston were convicted of six counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in 2014. They were sentenced to life and have since filed appeals, which are ongoing.

A person whose identity is protected by a publication ban pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder in 2009. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 15 years.

Michael Le — who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder in 2013 — has now served out his prison sentence.

Sophon Sek — who helped the killers get into the building and pleaded guilty to break and enter — was sentenced to a one-year prison term in 2015.

In December 2017, a B.C. Supreme Court judge stayed murder and conspiracy charges against gangster Jamie Bacon. The full reasons for Justice Kathleen Ker's decision in that case have been sealed by the court. 

About the Author

Rhianna Schmunk is a reporter for CBC News based in Vancouver. Reach her at rhianna.schmunk@cbc.ca or on Twitter.