Penticton courthouse.                                Western News file photo

Penticton courthouse. Western News file photo

Update: Oliver man wielding an axe sentenced to almost 23 months in jail

Steve Joseph Godbout was convicted of several charges in Penticton provincial court

A RCMP dog handler recounted how he came face-to-face with a man wielding an axe that committed a break and enter in Oliver.

“The first thing I thought of was ‘Oh, s—-. This guy is going to kill us … I was hoping he was fixated on the dog because he was engaged on him but I thought ‘OK, this is it,’” said Cpl. Jason Goodfellow, during his testimony in Penticton provincial court on Monday.

Related: Man with axe arrested after a ‘brief struggle’ with Oliver RCMP

Steve Joseph Godbout was sentenced to a combined 697 days in jail on Tuesday for assaulting a police officer with a weapon, break and enter with intent to commit an offence and two breach of probation charges. A conditional stay of proceedings was given for the assaulting a police officer, willfully resisting or obstructing a police officer and to one of the breach charges.

It was around 7:15 a.m. on Feb. 17, 2018, that Tatum Brogan was driving to her workplace, at a bakery located on Main Street in Oliver, when she saw a man hitting the back door in the alleyway of the neighbouring building with an axe. She called her uncle, who owns the bakery, to let him know and after seeing the destroyed door himself, he called RCMP.

Two officers initially responded, with Goodfellow and police dog, Harrow, coming shortly after. The three, led by Goodfellow, entered the building announcing that they were police and they had the dog with them. Clearing the first room, they noticed there was a “hatch” that led to an attic space. Const. Peter Wise stayed behind to ensure no one came out of hiding in that space while the other two Mounties continued to check the rest of the building.

Related: Arson, assault on Oliver cop charges for dumpster fire

Const. James Grandy testified that he could smell smoke in the air as the pair approached another area of the building where small offices were located. Goodfellow said he was in the process of telling Grandy to alert dispatch to call the fire department when Harrow pulled him towards one of the offices. He said the next sequence of events happened quickly, but he could see the dog jumping up on a person behind the door of the office, latching onto the person. As he got even closer to the dimly-lit room, Goodfellow said he found a man with an axe raised above his head in “chopping position” and Harrow engaged on the man’s clothing. Goodfellow said he grabbed the axe with both hands and struggled face-to-face with Godbout and the police dog in between them. Once he got control of the axe he placed it behind him, where Grandy was now standing, and wrestled with the man until he could put him to the ground. The police dog fell under them and released from Godbout and then re-engaged on the police officer’s left calf. Goodfellow said he saw the light from the taser Grandy had pointed and rolled off Godbout.

Related: Bail denied for man facing arson, stolen property charges

Grandy said his attempt to use a taser on Godbout failed and, as he was loading another cartridge, Godbout pushed by him. Const. Wise testified that he heard yelling from the other room and proceeded towards the noise, eventually tackling Godbout, who contined to resist. The taser was put into stun mode on Godbout and he was then restrained.

Godbout, who took the stand in the afternoon, told a different story. He said in 2016, just prior to serving his jail sentence for an arson in Oliver, the owner of the building had told him he could stay there whenever he wanted. Godbout said upon his release from jail, a friend told him the man, who he believed to still be the owner, was away in Portugal. It was learned, in court, that there was a different owner of the building in 2018.

Godbout admitted he grabbed an axe from the back of a friend’s truck and proceeded to chop down the door to gain access, stating that he was hoping to fix it later. Trying to warm his hands, he lit cardboard on fire in a coffee tin in one of the offices. He told the court that he did not know it was the police who were in the building, only hearing the sound of a dog’s collar. Godbout also admitted to having the axe in his hand, but not above his head, when the dog bit him. He testified that he was not resisting when he was taken to the ground, tasered, had the stun gun used on him and eventually arrested by RCMP.

Godbout, who was warned several times during the day-long trial to stop speaking during witness testimony, became agitated during his own testimony and at one point said, “I’m fed up, take me out of here” then tried to leave the stand.

In his decision, Judge Gregory Koturbash did not believe the events unfolded as Godbout stated.

“With respect to the evidence heard in this trial, the truth was only an occasional visitor for Mr. Godbout’s testimony. I didn’t believe very much of what you had to say. I almost asked the sheriffs to bring out the extinguisher to see if your pants were on fire, sir. You really strung a big line here. I reject your evidence,” said Koturbash.

Just Posted

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The COVID-19 cases reported over the week of May 30 to June 5. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees second straight week of 17 new COVID-19 cases

Summerland, Keremeos and Princeton all recorded no new cases

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has hired a new FireSmart coordinator. (Black Press file photo)
FireSmart coordinator named for Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Kerry Riess will provide assistance to mitigate potential wildfire hazards

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness shared images of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read