His cousin, William Seymour, was convicted of three of five like counts, occurring in April 2006 in Duncan. Both men claimed it was their Aboriginal right to possess eagle parts.
Duncan courtroom after a nearly five-month delay.
In his submissions, Crown counsellor John Blackman sought a prison sentence
of two years less a day for Jerome Seymour, in addition to a fine of $1,310 - an
amount equal to the Crown's estimation of the monetary benefits gained from the
offences for which the convicted was charged.
Blackman said in the space of three months and five days, Jerome Seymour
committed 11 separate offences of trafficking wildlife and five of hunting out
of season - all purely for financial gain.
Blackman called Jerome Seymour's attitude "callous and disrespectful" and
that "no remorse has ever been expressed."
The crown further recommended both Seymour cousins be prohibited from
possessing eagles and their parts for 10 years, citing deterrence and "the
continued insistence of both accused to have an inherent right to do what they
Blackman said "in less than 24 hours, William Seymour committed two counts of
trafficking and one count of hunting out of season, which is essentially hunting
for the purposes of trafficking."
He recommended 60 days imprisonment and a $200 fine - again, the crown's
estimation of the monetary benefits gained from the offences for which the
convicted man was charged.
The case was to continue beyond the Citizen's press time Thursday
Sentencing had been slated for June 27, but plans took a turn when the
Seymour cousins' lawyer, George Wool, sought to reopen the trial.
Wool cited "fresh evidence" coming from similar trials in Chilliwack and
elsewhere in the Lower Mainland, which he believed would support his clients'
Wool then asked the judge to recuse himself from the case, as he's a member
of the Vancouver Island branch of the Alpine Club of Canada, a mountaineering
group priding itself on environmental stewardship, something Wool argued may be
perceived as a conflict of interest as the case is being prosecuted by
environmental lawyers and includes conservation officers, who are under the
auspices of the Ministry of Environment.
Judge Hubbard declined to accept Wool's applications, saying the case had
"already consumed an inordinate amount of time."
Hubbard deemed it impossible to conclude the case on June 27.
An elder uncle of the Seymour cousins, also named William Seymour, testified
in June that the specific use of eagle parts is a guarded long house tradition
but the use of feathers in cultural attire is important during winter
ceremonies, powwows, weddings, funerals and more.
But only those gifted to be eagle hunters could harvest.
Blackman noted Thursday that there is "an absolute prohibition" when it comes
to hunting eagles.