BRITISH COLUMBIA

David Pickton Accused Of Threatening To Chop Up Sex Assault Victim

06/23/2015 02:18 EDT | Updated 06/23/2016 05:59 EDT
VANCOUVER - A woman who was sexually assaulted by David Pickton, the brother of serial killer Robert Pickton, has testified she was told to leave town or she would be chopped into pieces.

B.C. Supreme Court heard Tuesday that David Pickton was convicted in criminal court in 1992 of fondling the woman inside a trailer at a Burnaby, B.C., construction site, east of Vancouver.

He's now being sued for compensation for psychological harm, lost income and punitive damages over the 1991 assault. The woman told the trial that Pickton touched her crotch through her clothes before threatening rape.

The now 55-year-old woman testified that a co-worker operating an excavation machine called her over and gave her a warning she believes was on Pickton's behalf.

"'If you take this to court, they're going to cut you up and chop you in so many pieces you're never going to be found,'" the woman recalled the man saying.

"And I said, 'That's ridiculous, everybody's going to know it was David Pickton, why would he do that? That's stupid.' And he said, 'What does it matter to your son, if you're already dead?'"

She covered her eyes with one hand, while recalling being advised she "better get out of town." The Canadian Press is not naming the woman because she is a sexual assault victim.

A bearded and hefty Pickton, sitting in court dressed in a wrinkled short-sleeved shirt, rubber-soled shoes and gelled hair, snickered at the same moment the woman mentioned the murder threat.

Two plainclothes police officers attended the site after she reported the sex assault, court heard. But once she received the death threat, she felt her only option was to leave.

"I thought they were going to spread me in the concrete," she said, explaining her interpretation at the time.

"I didn't know anything about them, I didn't know anything about their place, about Piggy's Palace, none of that."

She told court she was referring to David's brother, Robert Pickton, who owned a pig farm in Port Coquitlam, B.C., and the nearby after-hours nightclub the brothers ran together. Robert was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder in 2007, although the DNA or remains of 33 women were found on the farm.

A public inquiry investigating the failures that allowed Robert Pickton to target Vancouver sex workers heard in 2012 that RCMP were monitoring Piggy's Palace, a bar where the serial killer sometimes lured his victims.

David Pickton was never accused or charged in connection with the murders.

Court heard David Pickton was fined $1,000 and sentenced to one year of probation for the sex assault.

The alleged death and rape threats have not previously been tested in court.

The woman said Pickton pinned her to a wall with only a broom wedged between them. She told court the assault ended because someone poked their nose inside the trailer door.

"When (Pickton) went to walk out the door, he said, 'I'm going to wape you.' He couldn't say the word (with an) 'R.' He said it twice," she testified, grimacing. "He was laughing like crazy."

The woman's lawyer, Jason Gratl, told the jury they must decide on the basis of probabilities whether those incidents occurred and if Pickton should be held liable.

The woman filed her notice of civil claim in November 2013.

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