Dorothy Car­nell guilty of call­ing in bomb threat against Dwight Ball

The Compass - - News - TC ME­DIA ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­pass.ca

She was caught on video hold­ing to her ear the re­ceiver of a pay­phone that po­lice de­ter­mined a bomb threat against the even­tual pre­mier of New­found­land and Labrador orig­i­nated from.

But Dorothy Joan Car­nell said it wasn’t her that threat­ened the life of Dwight Ball.

Pro­vin­cial court Judge Bruce Short dis­agreed. Last Wed­nes­day at the Pla­cen­tia court­house, Short found the 53-year-old guilty on all charges — ut­ter­ing threats to cause death to Ball, con­vey­ing false in­for­ma­tion by re­port­ing to po­lice there was a bomb, caus­ing pub­lic mis­chief, and ut­ter­ing threats to dam­age or de­stroy prop­erty.

On Nov. 14, 2015, Ball was cam­paign­ing with lo­cal Lib­eral can­di­date Sherry Gam­bin-Walsh at the Pla­cen­tia Mall. Po­lice were forced to evac­u­ate the mall af­ter a call was re­ceived in­di­cat­ing there was a bomb. It proved to be a false alarm.

When asked why she did it, the caller told the RCMP dis­patcher, “I just don’t like Dwight Ball,” adding she was aware of his sched­uled visit.

Pla­cen­tia RCMP re­viewed sur­veil­lance footage show­ing a woman at a pay­phone in­side the mall po­lice linked to the call. She held the re­ceiver up to her ear for ap­prox­i­mately four min­utes. The time and length of the call matched the video footage.

Car­nell, a taxi driver who lives in Pla­cen­tia, tes­ti­fied dur­ing the trial she was the woman in the video, ini­tially in­di­cat­ing she didn’t make a call and was merely con­sid­er­ing mak­ing one that would have been per­sonal in na­ture.

Dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, Car­nell said she may have in fact made the call, and ad­mit­ted it was pos­si­ble she could have called po­lice, but didn’t know why she might have done so.

Short noted there was noth­ing to sug­gest there was any sort of mal­func­tion that could have caused the phone call to come from a phone other than the one at the mall. On the pos­si­bil­ity it wasn’t Car­nell who made the call, the judge said he could not ac­cept her ev­i­dence. He ques­tioned why she would stand next to the pay­phone while hold­ing the re­ceiver to her ear for sev­eral min­utes without mak­ing a call.

“It makes no log­i­cal sense,” Short said. Ac­knowl­edg­ing the Crown’s case re­lied on cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence, the judge found it was over­whelm­ing enough to prove the fact Car­nell made the call.

Car­nell, who is not in cus­tody, will re­turn to the Pla­cen­tia court­house April 26, where lawyers for the case will out­line sen­tenc­ing op­tions. De­fence lawyer Tim O’Brien re­quested to have a pre-sen­tenc­ing re­port pre­pared.

TC ME­DIA FILE PHOTO

A pro­vin­cial court judge has found Dorothy Car­nell guilty on all charges in con­nec­tion with a bomb threat made against Dwight Ball while he was cam­paign­ing in Pla­cen­tia.

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