Tineke Kraal handed suspended sentence for sabotaging mountain bike trails in North Shore
TOGOPARTS EDITORIAL TEAM | 22nd Jan 2016 |
North Vancouver senior who dragged branches and logs on trails pleaded guilty to mischief charge in September.
Tineke Kraal, 64, of North Vancouver has been given a suspended sentence and placed in three-year probation for sabotaging a mountain bike trails. She will also serve 150 hours of community service.
Kraal was caught on camera putting branches, and other obstacles across trails on Vancouver’s North Shore.
She pleaded guilty in September to on criminal charge of mischief rendering property dangerous, useless or inoperative.
In handing down the sentence, the judge said he didn’t accept the Crown’s conclusion that Kraal placed branches with a view to impale riders, saying the video evidence showed a “casual” approach.
The Crown was asking for a sentence of three months under house arrest, while the defense was seeking a conditional discharge.
Earlier in the day Kraal told the jury “I never wanted to hurt anybody. I’m just really sorry.”
Caught on Cam
Kraal was arrested last year after concerned mountain biker used a hidden infrared camera to record the avid hiker dragging branches and logs onto the popular mountain bike trails.
Earlier in the morning, prosecutor Mark Myhre told the court that Kraal ran a personal campaign for two years, consuming up to two hours a day dragging dozens of logs and branches onto the trails in North Shore.
Myhre also told the judge a harsh sentence was needed to restrain others, because Kraal was not the first person to consider sabotaging bike trails.
Video evidence presented in the hearing showed Kraal walking in the dark with a stick and her dog, dragging logs onto the trails and cramming branches between boulders.
The Crown disputed the avid hiker’s claim she did it only to slow the bikers down because they were harming the trails.
In many cases, trails she was sabotaging had been built and maintained by mountain bikers, hearing was told and the impact could have been catastrophic for an unsuspecting riders.
But the Crown also conceded one unintended consequence of Kraal’s action is heightened courtesy between trail users.
Kraal’s Defense called for leniency
In response, Kraal’s lawyers request the court for leniency given the attentions and humiliation she had already suffered.
Citing a social media post, “Just kill her”, her lawyer, Martin Peter said that Kraal has been living in a virtual house arrest since her name was made public. Kraal also now suffers from panic attacks, along with arthritis, and spends much of her time driving her husband to cancer treatments.
Kraal’s lawyer had requested a conditional sentence, noting that no injuries to bikers have been linked to her actions. He also said that Kraal was unlikely to re-offend.
Concerned mountain bikers
Kraal was arrested last January after two mountain bikers became concerned about the rocks and branches which appeared to be deliberately dragged onto the trails.
They feared that those obstruction may harm or kill a biker, so they set a trap for the saboteur in the form of a hidden camera. The Infrared video captured Kraal, a local outdoor enthusiast, dragging some objects onto the trail in the dark.
The mountain bikers passed the evidence on to RCMP, who then arrested Kraal one Sunday morning while she was leaving the woods.
Kraal initially faced multiple charges including setting a trap and mischief endangering life, but pleaded guilty last September to the lesser charge.
The mountain bikers, who eventually received a letter of commendation from the RCMP for their efforts to catch Kraal, are expected to release some of the video footage they collected now that Kraal has been sentenced.