HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Appeal Court Acquits Woman Of Theft Of Electricity At Grow
Pubdate: Tue, 28 Oct 2008
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Neal Hall


She Was Not The Homeowner And The Power Bill Was Not In Her Name

VANCOUVER -- Three B.C. Court of Appeal judges have overturned a
woman's conviction for fraudulent theft of electricity at a Kamloops
marijuana-growing operation.

Although the evidence indicated that the accused, Rui Ping He, had
sole control of the house at the time of a police raid, the court
found she was not the owner of the house and the electrical bill was
not in her name.

The appeal court upheld He's convictions for pot cultivation and
possession for the purpose of trafficking.

The charges stemmed from police executing a search warrant on a
ranch-style home in Kamloops on Nov. 9, 2004.

Found in the basement were 191 healthy marijuana plants about four
weeks away from harvest. The value of the crop was estimated at $70,000.

He's car was in the driveway and her clothes and documents were found
in the master bedroom.

He, also known as Tracy He, testified she was only visiting the
residence, having been invited to stay there by a male friend while
she checked out the job market in Kamloops.

She said her friend was doing renovations at the home and she was
unaware it was being used for a growing operation. The trial judge
didn't find her testimony credible.

The appeal court found that He was merely a "caretaker" of the growing
operation, so it was difficult to infer "that she is intentionally and
deliberately taking the electrical service that was not hers to obtain
in order to power the operation."

She was acquitted on theft of electricity, which was done by bypassing
the electrical meter. The appeal court also quashed a restitution
order made by the trial judge related to the stolen electricity.
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