By Penticton Herald Staff
A B.C. Supreme Court judge is starting to lose patience with how long it’s taking to set a trial date for the man accused of brutally attacking a 22-year-old woman inside a Penticton second hand store two summers ago.
David Bobbitt, 37, made a brief appearance via video link in Penticton Supreme Court on Monday, during which defence counsel James Pennington requested the matter be put over to Feb. 25.
Pennington said further discussions must be held to determine whether the accused wants to proceed to trial or plead guilty. Bobbitt faces a string of charges, including aggravated sexual assault and unlawful confinement, in connection with the attack.
However, Justice Allison Beames noted this marked the sixth time there has been an attempt to fix a trial date since July 30, 2012 – a month after the conclusion of Bobbitt’s preliminary hearing.
The female victim was discovered bound, severely beaten and sexually assaulted inside a second hand store on Ellis Street in the early morning hours of July 31, 2011. The attack had allegedly continued for several hours in front of her two-year-old son.
The woman suffered severe head, facial and other injuries. The toddler was not harmed.
The case generated national media coverage as RCMP issued a Canada-wide warrant for Bobbitt's arrest. He was the shop owner, living in a trailer parked at the rear of the store, but had fled the scene.
The suspect was arrested a few days later after an Oliver area orchardist noticed someone setting up camp on his property. During an ensuring conversation with the man, the fruit grower recognized him as Bobbitt and later contacted police.
Bobbitt has remained in custody since that time.
He is scheduled to appear again via video at the Feb. 25 hearing during which a date will likely be set for trial, or disposition of the case if guilty pleas are entered.