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Princeton man on trial denies getting unlawfully close to town’s mayor

Tom Muir is accused of breaching a court order
Tom Muir, with Tanya Hyslop who was Muir’s support person through the trial Thursday, Feb. 8, during a break from the courtroom. Photo Andrea DeMeer

The trial for a Princeton man, alleged to have breached a court order by getting too close to the town’s mayor, was adjourned in circuit court Thursday, Feb. 8.

Tom Muir is representing himself in the proceedings, which will not resume for at least two months.

On May 18, 2023, Muir entered into a standard peace bond to settle accusations of harassing Princeton Mayor Spencer Coyne.

The charge was “causing fear of injury or damage to person or property.”

As part of a court order Muir agreed to not attend Coyne’s home or workplace, and to have no contact or communication with him.

Crown claims Muir violated those conditions the very day the order was issued.

Coyne testified that on May 18, 2023, after court concluded, Muir lingered in the hallways of the court, which is located on the second story of the municipal building.

He said Muir then walked down the steps to the area where most of town office business is conducted, stomped his foot hard and raised his arm towards where Coyne was standing, in what appeared to be a Nazi salute.

Muir said it didn’t happen. He admitted he might have stumbled at the bottom of the stairs because of his large boots, and put out his arm in doing so.

Muir said he is proud of his Jewish heritage, and his five years of service in the military, and would never make such a gesture.

Stephanie Palmer, a town employee, was the only other witness called. She supported Coyne’s recollection of the allegeded incident, and also said that Muir’s companion Tanya Hyslop fired a profanity at Coyne

During a monologue to the court, after taking the stand to present his case, Muir said it was impossible for him to have executed such a gesture, as both his shoulders are injured.

He described himself as a person of faith and “a protector…I have never hurt anyone.”

Court adjourned at 4 p.m. as it was deemed too late in the day for the Crown to begin cross examination of Muir.

At the conclusion of the sitting, it was noted that the peace bond entered into by Muir last May will expire on February 18, 2024.

Judge Shannon Keyes said she did not feel it was necessary to extend the conditions of the bond, pending the outcome of the current trial.

She told Muir to ‘behave” in the interim.

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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