Puzzling Padmore death case returns to court

Vancouver police officer Stephen Todd is once again in a courtroom, this time trying to clear his name

Vancouver police officer Stephen Todd is once again in a courtroom.

This time, he is fighting to clear his name after an investigation determined that he used police information to help his cousin, who was being investigated in the Oak Bay death of Owen Padmore, and lied to investigators about what he knew.

Padmore, 31, died on Dec. 11, 2001. He had been visiting his mother’s house on Hampshire Road the previous day. At one point, he left the house and when he returned, he had suffered a head injury. His mother called an ambulance, and Padmore later died at Victoria General Hospital.

Initially, investigators suspected foul play, but a coroner’s report and witness statements at the time resulted in the death being classified as non-suspicious.

The case remained closed until 2008, when Oak Bay police received new information. In 2011, a suspect was arrested for manslaughter but no charges were laid.

Last July, it was revealed that Todd had admitted to investigators that his cousin allegedly “made admissions” which were relevant to the investigation.

The information received by the office of the police complaint commissioner also alleged “during his March 2011 interview, Todd also admitted that in September 2010, approximately two months after his cousin had made a confession to him, he provided information to his cousin on how to avoid police investigative techniques, including wire taps and surveillance.”

Police say one month later, Todd recanted the evidence he gave to homicide investigators.

 

In response to the result of the inquiry, Todd requested a public hearing into the matter. It is being heard this month in Vancouver court by retired B.C. Court of Appeal judge Wally Oppal.