Cpl. Monty Robinson's behaviour following the 2008 crash that killed a South Delta man was the result of a "severe" alcohol addiction, an expert on substance abuse this morning testified in New Westminster Supreme Court.
Dr. Paul Sobey, an addictions medical physician, was retained by Robinson's defence lawyer to assess whether or not the Mountie was dependent on alcohol at the time of the crash.
Sobey evaluated Robinson for several hours in January of this year about his mental state, drinking habits and other factors around the time of the crash. The doctor concluded that he met five of the seven criteria for addiction and classified his alcohol dependence as "severe" around the time of the crash.
He said the use of alcohol after a stressful event was consistent with the type of behaviour I see in men who have an alcohol problem.
He added that during the evaluation he determined that it was "quite obvious that he was depressed in 2008" however, Sobey said he could not determine if the depression was a primary condition or related to Robinson alcohol abuse.
During cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Kris Pechet pointed out that in 2006 Robinson was one of 36 RCMP officers to take an undercover officer training course.
To be accepted into the course, he said, Robinson had to undergo a psychological evaluation and he was given, and passed, an annual psychological assessment in 2007 and '08 as well.
Robinson is charged with obstruction of justice in the Oct. 25, 2008 crash that killed 21-year-old Orion Hutchinson.
Robinson's obstruction of justice charge stems from his actions following the crash. The officer left the scene of the collision, which occurred at about 10:15 p.m., and walked home, a short distance away.
He returned 10 minutes later and advised police he had two beers at a party earlier and two shots of vodka at home.
He was arrested and given two breathalyzer tests at 11:56 p.m. and 12:16 a.m. Robinson's readings registered at .12 and .10.
The Crown wrapped up its case Monday morning with testimony from a woman who testified that Robinson told a group of people at a 2007 Christmas how to avoid impaired driving charges.
Anne Rough, who graduated from South Delta Secondary along with Robinson in 1988, testified that he told a group of people at the party how to avoid detection if you get stopped in a road block.
Rough said the conversation centered around the deadly Taser incident at YVR before someone starting talking about drinking and driving.
She said Robinson recommended guzzling mouthwash to throw off the breath test in a road block.
"And then he said if ever you've been drinking and driving and get into an accident, you should leave your licence at the scene of the accident and if you're close to home or close to a bar you should go and take a few shots and then return to the scene."
Rough said he said that doing that would make it difficult for police to prove if a driver drank before or after a crash.
Robinson's lawyer challenged the witness's testimony suggesting she was influenced by media coverage of what police said Robinson told officers at the scene.
The officer is expected to take the stand in his own defence later this week.