A Saanich Police clip of a male they believe is the suspect in a sexual assault and robbery on the 1500-block of Church Ave. on Jan. 27, 2016. Screenshot

Guilty verdict for accused in brazen Saanich sex assault

Jury finds David Robert Hope guilty of Church Avenue home invasion, sex assault

The trial of a man accused of breaking into an apartment and sexually assaulting two women came to a close inside a Victoria courtroom Monday as David Robert Hope was found guilty on seven charges.

Hope was arrested in April 2016 in relation to the shocking home invasion of two foreign exchange students in Saanich. The incident occurred on Jan. 27, 2016, when a man banged at the ground-floor patio door of an apartment at 1514 Church Avenue (about one block from Shelbourne Street) and was let in by two women.

The jury of seven women, five men stood unanimous in finding Hope, 45, guilty for one count of break and enter to commit an indictable offence, two counts of unlawful confinement or imprisonment, two counts of sexual assault and two counts of robbery.

Court will reconvene Wednesday at 2 p.m. to set a time for the sentencing.

During the trial the jury heard testimony that the attacker directed them to a bedroom and instructed the women to take off their clothes. While in their panties, they then offered him money, though the initial offering was deemed inadequate. The women dressed and the suspect escorted the women to a local bank machine in the Shelbourne corridor. From there they gave the suspect money and fled to a local Starbucks where they asked to call 911.

Saanich Police used interpreters to communicate with the two victims, who knew little English.

Following the initial 911 call on Jan. 17, 2016, Saanich Police were unable to locate any suspect in the area. Police reported at the trial that a public campaign resulted in more than three dozen tips from the community. However, none proved right. Three months later, members of the Saanich Police flew to Saskatoon and, in conjunction with the Saskatoon Police, arrested Hope on April 5.

Hope pleaded not guilty to the crimes.

The trial lasted nearly two weeks and was marked by a surprise testimony by a witness, Jean Nadeau, who is currently serving time at the Matsqui Institute for sex assault. Nadeau said he met Hope when both were in custody at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre (Wilkinson Road jail) between May and September of 2016.

When Nadeau took the stand he claimed responsibility for the crimes, reciting many of the details but also leaving many details out, claiming he was ‘messed up on GHB and cocaine’ that day.

“You see, you want it both ways” said Crown counsel Patrick Weir. “You recall major details but when you can’t you say it’s because you were on GHB.”

In the end Crown counsel was able to dispel a number ofNadeau’s claims.

Early testimony heard Hope’s DNA had been found on the outside of the patio door. Following Hope’s arrest police drew a sample of his blood and matched it to the sample on the door.


Just Posted

New trail system proposed for Sooke

System will connect parks and green spaces and encourage alternate forms of transportation

Giants draw first blood in WHL playoff series vs. Victoria

Home ice advantage non-existent for Royals against arch-rival Vancouver

Sooke football coach has no plans on stopping

Tony Nelson has played multiple sports his entire life

Elizabeth May arrested at Kinder Morgan protest

Randall Garrison, MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, speaks out against pipeline

Large Kinder Morgan pipeline protest at Victoria MP office

Dozens gathered out front of Murray Rankin’s constituency office Friday to protest Trans Mountain pipeline

Vancouver Island’s Best Videos of the Week

A look at some of the best video stories from the past week ending March 23, 2018

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Calving season brings hope for Cariboo ranchers

Still a lot of work ahead to recover from the wildfires

Canada’s Kaetlyn Osmond wins figure skating world title

The 22-year-old fwon the women’s singles crown with her Black Swan routine

Vancouver Island pooches celebrate National Puppy Day

Check out some of the submissions we received from around the region

MLA Report: Lowering the voting age to 16 in BC

By Andrew Weaver On March 13, I introduced for a third time… Continue reading

Alberta tells B.C. to stop opposing pipelines if it doesn’t like gas prices

John Horgan said he would like to see the federal government step in to deal with high gas prices.

Comox Valley hospital operating above patient capacity

The new healthcare facility averaged a 110 per cent patient volume between October and February

B.C. mother hit in truck rampage dies

Family confirms mother of four Kelly Sandoval dies almost two months after being hit.

Most Read