'Anti-masker' held in contempt, jailed after refusing to wear mask or answer questions

'Anti-masker' sent to jail

A woman was jailed Monday at the Kamloops Law Courts after refusing to wear a mask and then refusing to answer questions in court.

Brittney Lynn Galbraith spent the night behind bars and will be brought before a B.C. Supreme Court judge on Tuesday morning.

She was arrested on Monday following an unusual series of events at the courthouse, where she was slated to testify as a reluctant Crown witness in the trial of a man facing serious assault and robbery charges.

Galbraith showed up at the courthouse and told sheriffs she would not be wearing a mask.

“It’s my understanding that she’s an anti-masker and has not been allowed into the courthouse by the sheriffs as a result,” Crown prosecutor Danika Heighes said in court on Monday morning.

“She is refusing to put on a mask.”

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Dennis Hori then ordered two sheriffs to escort Galbraith through the courthouse and into the courtroom so that she could testify. He told sheriffs to keep her at least six feet from any other person the entire time.

When sheriffs brought Galbraith into the courtroom, she refused to answer any of Heighes’ questions.

“I have nothing to say,” she repeated.

Hori ordered Galbraith held in contempt and jailed. She was brought back into the courtroom a few hours later and again refused to answer any questions.

"I still have nothing to say," she told court.

Hori then told Galbraith she would spend the night in jail and be brought back to court in the morning. Galbraith protested while being led back to her jail cell, talking about wanting to pick her child up from school.

Christopher Hubley is facing one count each of break-and-enter, robbery, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and possessing a weapon contrary to a court order. His five-day trial was supposed to have started on Monday, but those plans were likely scuttled by Galbraith's refusal to testify.

Hubley is charged in relation to an alleged April 12, 2020, incident at a home in Enderby in which Galbraith had been living. The home is owned by Galbraith's cousin, who is the complainant.

Galbraith was charged alongside Hubley and has previously pleaded guilty to a number of offences. She is expected to be sentenced in Salmon Arm provincial court next month.

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