Former RCMP officer files civil defence in connection with Lake Country murder case

It’s been greater than 5 years since Arlene Westervelt died whereas canoeing along with her husband in Lake Nation, however the story surrounding her loss of life continues to unfold.

Former RCMP officer Brian Gateley has now filed a response to the lawsuit launched in opposition to him by Arlene’s household.

Within the days after Arlene’s physique was pulled from Okanagan Lake, Gateley took her cellphone and had one other officer crack it utilizing RCMP sources.

Gateley stated that Bert had informed him he wished the photographs from his final day with Arlene.

Learn extra:
What happened to Arlene Westervelt?

The 2 males say their wives labored collectively and so they knew one another as informal acquaintances, though Arlene’s household believes they have been good mates.

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Based on courtroom paperwork, the telephone was hacked and returned to Bert earlier than a homicide investigation in opposition to him had been launched.

The civil response filed by the federal government says that 4 days after Arlene’s loss of life, Gateley referred to as Sgt. Craig Andrichuk, who was an investigator on the case and can be named within the lawsuit.

Gateley allegedly informed Andrichuk that he’d been mates with the couple for years and had by no means seen any proof of violence or abuse between them.

The federal government’s civil response additionally claims Andrichuk informed Gateley that RCMP had no purpose to grab Arlene’s cellphone as a result of at that time it was nonetheless a non-criminal investigation.

“Supt. Gateley directed considered one of his subordinates to unlock Arlene’s cellphone utilizing a program referred to as Cellebrite,” the federal government’s response reads.

“As a part of the unlocking course of, Cellebrite additionally examined the cellphone and created a duplicate of the cellphone’s contents, which the subordinate retained in compliance with RCMP coverage for Cellebrite utilization.”

In February 2019, an inside RCMP conduct investigation discovered that Gateley engaged in a possible battle of curiosity and misused RCMP IT gear, in accordance with the federal government’s civil response.

Learn extra:
‘They remain in the dark’: Family of woman who died on Okanagan Lake calls for coroner’s inquest

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However Gateley disputes that.

In courtroom paperwork filed this week, he says there was solely a “notion” of a battle of curiosity.

He additionally claims the police power discovered that unlocking the telephone was an remoted case which didn’t lead to private acquire, so no sanctions have been imposed in opposition to him.

“In reality, Supt. Gateley was the catalyst for the RCMP studying that Bert had been untruthful throughout his preliminary interview with the RCMP,” Gateley’s civil response reads.

In courtroom paperwork, the previous Mountie denies making an attempt to affect the investigation into Arlene’s loss of life or having a private curiosity within the consequence of it.

He resigned from the police power in March 2019.

Learn extra:
Who’s policing the police?

A month later, Bert Westervelt was charged with Arlene’s second-degree homicide, practically three years after her loss of life.

Bert has at all times maintained his innocence, and the allegation in opposition to him has by no means been confirmed. The cost was stayed two months earlier than it was supposed to go to a preliminary inquiry.

In his civil response, Gateley claims the keep on the homicide cost has nothing to do together with his actions.

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Shortly after resigning from RCMP, he picked up a brand new job in policing with B.C.’s anti-gang company.

The identical officer who signed his conduct investigation letter was additionally the assistant commissioner on the anti-gang company on the time.

Within the civil swimsuit, Arlene’s household alleges the previous Mountie tried to close down the investigation into her loss of life. They’re looking for damages.

Gateley denies the allegations, and claims the household has not suffered any losses due to his actions.

© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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