Eight years in prison is an appropriate sentence for a man who has pleaded guilty to nine gun charges and other counts in North Vancouver, Burnaby, Toronto and Oshawa, a Vancouver court heard Feb. 24.
Crown prosecutor Jonas Dow told Vancouver provincial court Judge Laura Bakan that Travis Ramsey Bell has a “relentless” desire to possess guns.
Bell came before the court with an “enormous” record of more than 70 convictions for crimes of violence and gun possession, Dow said.
“He appears to be a dangerous, relentless member of the public,” Dow told the court. “He is now a significant risk to the community.”
He said Bell does not obey court orders and when he does breach them, “does so in the gravest fashion possible which includes possession of firearms, which are loaded and ready to fire.”
The oldest of the current charges date back to 2019 when Toronto police saw Bell in the company of two other men, one of whom was known to be violating parole.
When the police moved to arrest the man, they saw Bell remove a handgun from his waistband to discard it. The 45-calibre was found with a bullet in the chamber.
“It reflects an intention to arm yourself and be prepared to shoot somebody,” Dow said.
That led to four charges of possession of a firearm contrary to an order, possession of a restricted firearm and possession of a loaded firearm.
On Dec. 26, 2020, Dow said, Oshawa, Ont. police saw Dow in a vehicle. A person was sitting in their living room when Bell crashed through their building wall after driving at high speed.
That led to charges of dangerous operation of a conveyance and mischief endangering life.
On March 21, 2021, Whistler RCMP did a traffic stop of a car with Ontario plates.
Bell identified himself and took off running, escaping from police.
Inside the car, police found a Gucci bag containing a loaded 40-calibre handgun. DNA and fingerprints connected the gun to Bell, as well as his proximity to it in the car.
“We wonder why on earth someone would travel from Ontario to Whistler with a loaded handgun in his man purse,” Dow said. “Is he target shooting in Whistler? Is he going to swap guns with someone? Is he going to kill someone?”
That led to charges of possession of a firearm contrary to an order and possession of a loaded, restricted firearm.
And, on March 29, residents of a 29th floor apartment in Burnaby were at home when Bell appeared on their balcony having leapt from next door, claiming a kidnapping was underway.
He was chased down and arrested.
On a floor below the apartment, police found another handgun. Officers connected the gun to Bell because they found his phone in the apartment he had leapt from.
“It matched the photos of the handgun that Mr. Bell was taking selfies of,” Dow said.
That led to a charge of possession of a firearm without licence or registration.
“Nothing came of the kidnapping,” Dow said.
The case has been put over to March 29 for defence lawyer Andrew Coulthard to make submissions before Bakan makes her decision.