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Judge calls Chilliwack businessman's gun incident 'drunken tomfoolery'

Chilliwack Courthouse - File
Chilliwack Courthouse
— image credit: File

Prominent local businessman Ted Shipley was given a conditional discharge for a drunken 2013 incident where he brandished a gun at nightclub bouncers.

The 54-year-old Shipley pleaded guilty in Chilliwack Court Tuesday to pointing a firearm. Charges of resisting arrest and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose were dismissed by the Crown.

His co-accused, 28-year-old Kevin Douthwright, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23 on three weapons charges in connection with the May 22, 2013 incident.

It was near closing time in the early hours of May 22 when Shipley and Douthwright showed up at the door of the Echo Room nightclub in Chilliwack. Visibly intoxicated, Shipley was denied entry by the two bouncers, Greg Wilhite and Clayton Charlie.

Crown Counsel Paul Blessin said that’s when Shipley said: “Do you know who the fuck we are?” He then pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the bouncers.

Shipley and Douthwright then left the scene but were located by Chilliwack RCMP officers a short time later. After twice being ordered to put their hands up, Mounties drew their firearms on the two men, the court heard. Douthwright was arrested without incident, but police needed a Taser to subdue the intoxicated Shipley.

Given Shipley’s reputation as a businessman (he owns TeksMed, among other businesses) in the community, Blessin said a period of incarceration was not warranted and the Crown sought a conditional sentence of four to six months.

Shipley’s lawyer John Conroy did not dispute most of the facts outlined by the Crown, but suggested that his client was so drunk he didn’t specifically even remember pointing the gun.

Conroy said Shipley had a number of factors in his personal life leading up to the incident, including the sudden death of his wife in 2012 and suffering a stroke.

Judge Roger Cutler agreed with Conroy, calling the incident one of “simple drunken tomfoolery,” and gave Shipley a conditional discharge. He also handed him a 10-year firearms prohibition and ordered him to abstain from alcohol.

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