RCMP awards ceremony spotlights heroics by local police

Dozens of awards, outlining diligence and acts of bravery were handed out during the Tuesday morning Southeast District Awards

Dozens of awards

Dozens of awards

The Mounties who worked on the file dealing with a fatal 2011 gang beating in Rutland were honoured this week  by their peers.

Const. Berna Barkman, Const. Judith Bertrand, Corp. Paul Gosling and Sgt. Joanne Callens worked on the file dealing with  Dain Phillips’s killing together, collecting evidence and curating files throughout the entire investigation.

Their work, explained the Mountie officiating a Tueday morning ceremony, resulted in a successful conviction of those involved in the crime.

“Following the death of Phillips and the determination of involvement of an outlaw motorcycle gang, the investigation evolved into one of the most complex and challenging files ever undertaken by Kelowna detachment personal,” he said, before the four Mounties were given their Commanding Officer’s Commendations.

Phillips, 51, had tried to intervene in a dispute between his sons and Matthew and Daniel McRae and Anson Schell, when he was attacked   June 12, 2011.

Phillips was out of the vehicle with his hands up, when full patch Hells Angel Norman Cocks armed with a ball-peen hammer and fellow Hells Angel Robert Thomas armed with a baseball bat  severely beat Phillips. He died of his injuries the next morning

McRae and Schell were convicted of manslaughter, and earlier this year tried to appeal that conviction on the grounds that they weren’t directly involved in the assault by Cocks and Thomas.

The two gang-members pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to 15 years in jail, apiece.

Dozens of awards, outlining similar diligence and acts of bravery were handed out during the Tuesday morning Southeast District Awards and Recognition Ceremony. There were also Long Service Awards for 20, 25, 30 & 35 years of service with the RCMP, awards for the Silent Hero / Award of Excellence and Team of the Year of the Southeast District Operational Communications Centre (OCC), the Sr. John Life Saving Award, the Commanding Officer’s Letter of Appreciation, and the Commanding Officer’s Commendations.