SURREY — It all came down to a distorted fingerprint on a box containing a carnival ghoul doll.
A man accused of burglarizing a house in Fleetwood while its owners were away has been acquitted of break, enter and theft because the judge couldn’t be sure a partial fingerprint belonged to him.
Timothy Dale Bornyk was accused of forcing his way into the house and ransacking it, in July 2010, while the homeowners were away at their cottage in Washington.
The Crown’s case relied on a single fingerprint found in the home, which had been up for sale at the time.
Justice Gordon Funt delivered his verdict Tuesday, in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver.
He heard from a realtor who said Bornyk did not attend any of several open houses there, as she would have seen him if he did.
The Surrey RCMP found the fingerprint by using magnetic black powder. One of the homeowners collected novelty items and the fingerprint had been found on the plastic wrapping of a box containing a “Living Dead Doll.”
But ripples in the plastic distorted the print, the judge noted. “For practical purposes, it was a partial fingerprint.”
While the Surrey RCMP held there was enough there to confirm a match, Funt disagreed.
“While the usable portion of the latent fingerprint and the known fingerprint are quite similar, I have more than a reasonable doubt that there is a match of the latent fingerprint to the known fingerprint,” he found. “Accordingly, I acquit the accused.”
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