Two Summerland brothers received a conditional discharge and nine months of probation for mischief following a lengthy feud with a neighbour.
On Tuesday, Oct. 19, Judge Michelle Danyluk gave her decision in the case involving Brad Besler, 36, and his brother Darren, 35.
The brothers had been charged with criminal harassment and mischief under $5,000 in connection to events involving their neighbours, What The Fungus, a mushroom farm on Garnet Valley Road in Summerland.
The incidents date back to the summer of 2019. During the time, the brothers set up surveillance cameras facing the mushroom farm. They were also accused of driving their vehicles close to the property line, at times spinning their tires and spewing dirt onto the farm.
During one incident, Brad Besler erected a large white crosses during the night. Later, No Trespassing messages were added to the crosses.
Danyluk said police testimony indicated the owners of the mushroom farm did not have fear of the brothers but rather frustration and anger as a result of the ongoing dispute.
The brothers were found not guilty of harassment, but guilty of one count each of mischief.
Crown prosecution asked for an 18-month suspended sentence, as well as the removal of existing social media posts about the dispute. The brothers asked for three months of conditional discharge instead.
“I think it’s excessive. There’s no need for it,” Darren Besler said. “Nobody’s at any risk from us.”
Danyluk gave the brothers nine months of probation, including an order to have no contact, direct or indirect, with the What The Fungus partners.
She also said the brothers have “an unhealthy obsession with this issue, and you truly need to let it go.” The brothers must also pay a victim surcharge fee of $100 each.
The brothers are planning to launch a civil suit related to the incident, Brad Besler said.
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