RCMP officer to plead guilty to obstructing justice after son’s car crash

RCMP Sgt. Brent Hillier, seen here in a 2010 interview, was the commanding officer at the Bay Roberts detachment. (CBC)

A high-ranking police officer in Conception Bay North is expected to own up to his actions on the day his son was suspected of crashing his car while impaired.

Sgt. Brent Hillier Sr. was not present at Supreme Court in St. John’s on Tuesday, but his lawyer, Nick Avis, said he will be pleading guilty at his next appearance on May 19.

Avis said Hillier Sr. has a health issue, and he needs to speak with doctors about his condition before the Crown and defence agree on an appropriate sentence.

Hillier’s son, Brent Hillier Jr., pleaded guilty to dangerous driving last July and was sentenced to six months of house arrest.

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Brent Hillier Jr. walks out of court in July 2019 after pleading guilty to dangerous driving. He was sentenced to six months of house arrest. (Ryan Cooke/CBC)

The younger Hillier was described by witnesses as “bug-eyed” and “incoherent” in the minutes before he crashed his car into a house in Upper Island Cove. There was nobody home at the time of the crash.

His father was the first police officer on scene. He allowed his son to drive away from the scene.

According to the agreed statement of facts entered at Hillier Jr.’s sentencing, Hillier Sr. went home and changed out of his uniform before returning to the crash site and waiting for the homeowner to return.

Days after the crash, the homeowner told CBC that Hillier Sr. offered to fix the damages himself, but the man demanded to speak with another police officer.

 

Poles lie buckled where a fence once stood, and the siding and shutters are demolished on a house in Upper Island Cove. The driver who collided with the property was the son of the RCMP officer who was first on scene.(Eddy Kennedy/CBC)

Hillier Sr. was placed on administrative leave by the RCMP while the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary was brought in from St. John’s to investigate his actions. He was suspended with pay after being charged with obstructing justice.

The RCMP’s major-crime section was brought in from St. John’s to investigate his son, who was charged with dangerous driving and driving without insurance. Hillier Jr. was deemed uninsurable after a previous impaired driving conviction and several other driving infractions.

The Crown and defence are expected to have an agreed statement of facts and a joint recommendation for sentencing at Hillier Sr.’s next appearance.

Ryan Cooke Author