Groves granted bail pending appeal

Christopher Groves has been released on bail pending an appeal of his manslaughter conviction.

  • Jan. 15, 2012 6:00 a.m.

Christopher Groves has been released on bail pending an appeal of his manslaughter conviction.

In 2009, he pushed Ariana Simpson, who fell into the street and died instantly after being struck by a passing bus.

He was found guilty in the fall and sentenced to one year in prison in December.

On Dec. 23, after Groves spent nine days behind bars, the Court of Appeal granted his application for release pending the appeal.

He’s been released on recognizance with one or more sureties in the amount of $50,000.

That means Groves has not had to post any cash with the court, but if he breaches the conditions of his bail, then the person who has signed his surety could be required to pay that amount to the court.

Though free from prison, Groves must abide by many conditions.

For instance, he must not have contact with a number of named people and must stay away from Quadra Street and Pandora Avenue; he must obey a curfew; he’s not to possess or consume any alcohol or enter any place primarily selling alcohol.

He’s also to surrender himself to the Victoria Law Courts on Oct. 26, 2012 or on the date set for the hearing of his appeal.

It’s not uncommon for bail to be granted in these circumstances, said Crown spokesperson Neil MacKenzie. The bar, however, is set higher for those already convicted of a crime than for those who are awaiting trial.

“Generally, when a person is still awaiting trail, the onus is on the Crown to show cause why the person should not be released,” said MacKenzie.

Where a person has been convicted, however, the onus is on the person to convince the court that his appeal is not frivolous, that he will surrender himself into custody at the appropriate time, and that his detention is not necessary in the public interest.

“The person is not necessarily required to show at this stage that the appeal has a strong probability of success, but they must at least demonstrate to the court there is an arguable basis for an appeal,” MacKenzie said.

In June, 2011, Ruby Ann Ruffolo was also granted bail pending appeal.

The Saanich woman was convicted of murdering her husband and was sentenced to life in prison.

In that case, the Crown sought a review of the decision, and the Court of Appeal revoked the bail. She’s now in custody waiting for her appeal to proceed.