Barry Bradley’s Old Newspaper Clippings






Throughout his career in the Force (1960 – 1995), Veteran Barry Bradley developed a newspaper scrapebook containing notable news stories about the RCMP in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.



Each week, we will post three or four of these old newspaper clippings for the interest of Veterans and their families. This week’s webpage includes some interesting stories reflecting different aspects of activities in the RCMP. These stories would have been forgotten if not saved by Barry and to be shared with others.


Photograph of the scale of justice statue at the New Westminster Court House (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles).

Photograph of the scale of justice statue at the New Westminster Court House (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).

March 29, 1974 (Vancouver Sun Newspaper) – The attorney-general’s department will review a provincial court trial held here this week in which an RCMP corporal was acquitted of assaulting an Anahim Lake Indian and another officer’s testimony was criticized by the judge.

A transcript of the trial of Cpl. Dave Ayers on a charge of assaulting Irvin Stump, 30 at Anahim Lake last July 5 has been sent to Victoria for review, Crown Prosecutor Alan Vanderburgh said.

He said a decision as to whether the acquittal by Judge D. F. McNeill will be appealed will be made by the attorney-general’s office.

Cpl. Ayers was acquitted on Tuesday following a day-long trial in which testimony given by Ayers’s superior, Staff Sgt. Robert Mercer, was termed “very unhappy evidence.”

The judge noted that Mercer was “inclined to revise his memory” and that his evidence was “pretty sad as a whole.”

The court heard evidence that eight RCMP officers, including Mercer and Ayers, had been assigned to patrol the July 1973, Anahim Lake Stampede.

The stampede was described as a drinking celebration attended by 3,000 people.

Anahim Lake is a small settlement heavily populated by native Indians, 200 miles west of Wiliams Lake.

At a dance at Anahim Lake on July 5, the court was told, a corporal had been stabbed in the back. He was not seriously injured.

Stump was one of two suspects arrested in connection with the stabbing. He was questioned and later released. The Crown alleged Stump was assaulted by Ayers while he was in custody.

Stump testified at Ayers’ trial that he had been drinking and had been taken into custody by two men in civilian clothes who later identified themselves as RCMP officers.

He said he could not identify the two men.

He told the court he was hit in the face by one of the men, then put into a police car and “backhanded across the face.”

Mercer, one of three Crown witnesses, said he followed Ayers and another officer, Const. Gunther Mielke, to a a car next to a police vehicle and saw Ayers hit Stump in the face and stomach with a closed fist.

Mielke, the third Crown witness, testified that while he and Ayers were at the police car, he heard a slap in the darkness. Later, he said Ayers had told him he had slapped Stump and a few hours after that Ayers told Mielke that Stump had taken a swing at him.

Under cross examination by defence lawyer M.S. Moran, Mercer said he had taken two bottles of whisky with him to Anahim Lake and had taken not more than two drinks from one of the bottles and later had a drink in Ayers’ motel room.

During examination by Moran, Mercer changed earlier testimony about the time at which he had reported the alleged offence to his superior officer in Kamloops.

Under questioning, Mercer also admitted that there had been a period during which he could not have seen the two officers and Stump.

In his summation, Judge McNeill said Mercer’s testimony was “very unhappy evidence” and that out of conflicting testimony, the best evidence available to the judge was that Ayers had told another officer he had slapped Stump.

Vanderbugh said that internal RCMP discipline resulting from liquor infractions had been completed.


Photograph of police handcuffs and RCMP forage cap (Source of photo - Sheldon Boles)

November 16, 1974 (Vancouver Sun Newspaper) – VICTORIA – Two men were each sentenced today to a total of seven years after two RCMP officers were disarmed and handcuffed early Friday.

Gordon Andrews, 21, and Robert Gary Deraspe, 23, both of no fixed address, pleaded guilty in provincial court here to charges of kidnapping, robbery with violence and pointing a firearm.

Chritina Hildebrand 22, of no fixed address, who faces the same charges, was remanded without plea to obtain counsel.

A second woman arrested was released after police determined she was an 
“innocent bystander.”

The charges were laid after Colwood RCMP Cpl. Ed Currie and Constable Wendel Milne were disarmed at gun point and manacled with their own handcuffs.

This happened in an Executive House hotel room in Victoria when they tried to check the identification of two men, one of whom turned out to be armed.

One of the handcuffed officers loosened the rope around his feet and banged on the floor to summon help.

Two couples were arrested two hours apart later Friday morning in Port Renfrew and Chemainus after an intensive hunt.


Photograph of Constable Roger

Photograph of Constable Roger Emile Pierlet (Reg. #29984) at the time of his graduation from the RCMP “Depot” Division in Regina (Source of photo – Surrey RCMP Detachment).

March 24, 1974 – (Vancouver Sun Newspaper) – A young Surrey RCMP officer was shot to death today as his parents, unaware of the tragedy, flew towards the West Coast for a reunion.

Police confirmed that his father and mother were flying in from Quebec and had left before they could be notified.

“It’s a tragic thing,” an RCMP spokesman said.

Constable Roger Emile Pierlet (Reg. #29984) , 23 who joined the force only 18 months ago, was shot and killed about 5 a.m. as he made a routine check of a car near Cloverdale.

Moments before he died – hit in the chest by a rifle bullet – the officers radioed in a description and licence number of the car he was about to check.

When his body was found on the Pacific Highway a quarter mile south of Cloverdale, by a second car-dispatched to the scene, an immediate all-points alert was put on the suspect car.

About 15 minutes later, after the wild car chase at speeds up to 120 miles per hour, two men surrendered to six RCMP officers with drawn guns.

The two men, aged 19 and 29 are being held in Cloverdale. No charges have yet been laid.

Police said the chase started when a second car was sent to backup the first officer while he made the check on the car.

The procedure is standard, a spokesman said.

When the second care arrived at the scene, its driver found the young officer lung on the road and his cruiser parked nearby.

Taken to Royal Columbian Hospital, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Police, meanwhile, had alerted all units with a broadcast on the suspect car, described as a mud-spattered 1964 Dodge, grey in colour and containing two men.

One RCMP officer involved in the pursuit and eventually arrest of the two men now being held, said he spotted the car going east on 16th Avenue towards Langley.

Along with another car from the White Rock RCMP detachment, he gave chase at 80 miles per hour.

Police tried to block off the suspect car at 16th and 264th.

The RCMP officer said the chase continued at a speed of 120 m.p.h. at one point.

He said he tried to cut the suspect car off but it skidded off the paved surface and spun clear on the soft shoulder at the side of the road.

“He (driver of the pursued car) was making no effort to slow down.  I knew he was armed and would probably shoot, ” the officer said.

By this stage, three police cars were in on the chase, which led east on the Port Mann freeway.

The officer said he finally drove his car into the side of the car containing the two men about a quarter of a mile east of the 264th Street entrance to the freeway.

The vehicle, travelling about 70 miles per hour, locked and skidded to a halt.

Half a dozen RCMP officers in the pursuit cars leaped out with dean guns and ordered the occupants of the other vehicle to surrender.

The two men gave up without a struggle and were handcuffed and taken separately to the Cloverdale lockup.

Police later recovered a rifle they said was thrown from the suspect car during the chase.

Also found in the car was a case of beer and a stereo set.

Fellow officers described the dead man as a “friendly, well-liked young guy.”

“He was a hard-working, studious type,” one policeman said.

The slaying of the officer occurred about three-quarters of a mile from the Cloverdale RCMP office.

Deep gouge marks were found from the tires in the soft gravel shoulder of the highway at the shooting scene, indicating that a car had left the scene quickly.

The last murder of an RCMP officer occurred in April 1965, when Constable Neil M. Bruce was fatally wounded while investigating a report that a girl was being held captive in a shack near Westbank, in the Kelowna area.

His assailant, Russell Spears, killed himself when facing capture.

In June, 1962, three RCMP officers, Constables E.J. Keck, G.E. Pedersen and D.G. Weisgerber, were gunned down by a rifleman at Kamloops.

Their slayer, George Booth, 32 was himself shot down and killed by an RCMP posse.



Two men found guilty of killing a Surrey policeman will die in a double hanging next Jan. 28, unless their appeals are successful or their sentences are commuted.

John Miller and Vincent Cockriell, who plotted to kill a policeman, were sentenced to death for the murder of RCMP constable Roger Pierlet.

Mr. Justice Kirke Smith pronounced the death sentence Friday in New Westminster after an Assize Court jury found the two men guilty of murder punishable by death.

The jury of 11 men and one woman, who deliberated for three hours, declined to make any recommendation for clemency.  However, the Criminal Code provides for automatic appeals of capital murder convictions.

Neither Miller nor Cockriell, who sat side-by-side ion the dock, showed any emotion as the foreman of the jury announced that both had been found “guilty as charged.”

Miller’s mother, who sat behind her son throughout the 14-day trial, sobbed and was comforted by her daughter.

Mr. Justice Smith asked Miller if he had anything to say, and Miller remained silent.

The judge: “I sentence you to be hanged by the neck until you are dead.”

Mr Justice Smith then asked Cockriell if he had anything to say and Cockriell replied “No sir.”

The judge: I sentence you to be hanged by the neck until you are dead.”

Mr. Justice Smith, then said: “I set Tuesday, Jan. 28, 1975, at one minute past midnight, as the date and time for the execution of both of you.”

“May God have mercy upon your souls.”

The jury retired to consider its verdict at 11:15 a.m., went for lunch between 12:30 and 2 p.m., and returned with the decision at 3:45 p.m.

After the verdict was given, Mr. Justice Smith told the jurors that the law required him to pronounce the sentence of death, but it was open to the jurors to recommend clemency if they wished.

The judge said the jurors were not required to make a recommendation for or against clemency.  If they did so, he would include it in his report to the solicitor-general.

The jurors then retired briefly to consider the clemency issue and returned to state that they did not wish to make any recommendation.

Before dismissing the jurors, Mr Justice Smith thanked them for the “soul searching” they had brought to their work.

The death sentence – reserved for murders of policemen and prison guards – was the second imposed in B.C. since Canada’s trial abolition of capital punishment began also most seven years ago.


May 18, 2011 – Photograph of the dedication of a plaque in memory of Constable Roger Emil Pierlet (Reg. #29984).  Left to right: Assistant Commissioner Fraser MacRae (OIC Surrey Detachment, Constable Pierlet’s brother and Surrey Mayor Diane Watt (Source of photo – Sheldon Boles).