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Appeal denied for Maple Ridge robbery charge

A Maple Ridge man convicted last year for a robbery has lost an appeal for a new trial.

Shawn Anthony Tottenham will now have to serve a 20-month sentence after the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled last week a trial judge had not misunderstood evidence.

Tottenham was found guilty last year of using an imitation firearm to steal an iPod and cash from Terrence Patrick Desroche, who he met while cashing a disability cheque at a Maple Ridge Money Mart.

Tottenham and his co-accused, Brian Hester, offered Desroche a ride home, then during the course of that, robbed him.

Desroche suffered cuts to his face, which required stitches and hospitalization after Tottenham struck him in the face with an elbow and the butt of a fake gun.

Hester was acquitted of the charges following a trial.

During his appeal, Tottenham claimed provincial court judge Pedro De Couto did not accurately recall evidence about a marijuana cigarette Hester was holding when he walked into the Money Mart and mistakenly referred to the joint as being lit.

Tottenham believed this error “resulted in the trial judge beginning his analysis of the credibility issue on the wrong footing.”

Crown, however, pointed out that the marijuana cigarette being lit was only one of many reasons given by the trial judge for disbelieving Tottenham’s version of events.

The B.C. Court of Appeal agreed.

“While the judge may have mentioned the marijuana cigarette being lit several times, it is apparent that his view that the cigarette was lit was not central to his assessment of Mr. Tottenham’s credibility,” Mr. Justice David Frankel said in his reason for judgement.

“The impression I am left with from reading the judge’s reasons is that he found Mr. Tottenham’s version of events so implausible that he did not know where to begin in explaining how thoroughly contrived he believed that testimony to be.”

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