Ronald Teneycke is escorted out of Penticton’s courthouse during the summer, following hearings on a Crown application for a dangerous offender application for the notorious South Okanagan criminal. Dustin Godfrey/Western News

B.C. criminal added to narrow list of dangerous offenders

Judge: ‘Evidence of treatability does not even justify an expression of hope’

Wayne Belleville breathed a sigh of relief after the man who shot him in the back as he ran from his truck in 2015 was handed one of the most severe sentence available to judges.

Ronald Teneycke, one of the South Okanagan’s most notorious criminals, was handed an indeterminate sentence as part of a dangerous offender designation Thursday morning. That means he will have no maximum term in prison, with parole eligibility in seven years and every two years after that.

“I’m obviously elated. It’s the best case scenario. He was given the harshest penalty available and it’s exactly what he deserved,” Belleville said after Thursday’s hearing.

“His 15 minutes of infamy are now over, and I look forward to never hearing his name again.”

Related: Ronald Teneycke diagnosed with leukemia

Teneycke had agreed to receiving the dangerous offender label in hearings in the summer, meaning he joins a club of rare offenders deemed “dangerous” according to the Criminal Code of Canada.

Just 681 offenders were serving time with a dangerous offender designation across Canada in 2016.

In court, Teneycke appeared to nod off through the hearing, with lawyer Michael Welsh noting he had been on some prescription drugs. Welsh suggested a 12-year sentence and tried to argue Teneycke was making new efforts to correct his ways.

Related: Teneycke saw himself as the victim

Judge Richard Hewson did not buy it.

“You are grasping at straws. The evidence of treatability does not even justify an expression of hope,” he said, citing a doctor’s analysis.

In July 2015, Teneycke robbed the Eastside Market in Oliver at gunpoint with a handgun later found to be defunct, making off with about $190 in cash. Five days later, when Belleville offered him a ride into Oliver, Teneycke threatened Belleville with a gun and shot him in the back as he ran away from the truck. He then demanded Belleville’s keys and phone with a gun pointed to his head.

Related: Dangerous offender application going ahead for Teneycke

Belleville was able to get back to the road where he collapsed, unconscious and was found by a driver.

He was rushed by paramedics to the hospital and flown to Kelowna General Hospital, where he underwent surgery for the bullet that ruptured his spleen, which needed to be removed. One of his lungs had also collapsed.

“I’m feeling good,” Belleville said of his health, adding he is back to work, now.

“I have picked up hitchhikers (since), and I wouldn’t hesitate to give someone a hand if they need it. The odds of that happening again are astronomical. I mean, the odds of it happening once are ridiculous.”

Related: Dramatic conclusion in RCMP hunt for Teneycke

Teneycke led police on a lengthy chase throughout the Similkameen and South Okanagan, driving around spike belts and roadblocks. It took police ramming his vehicle six times before he was immobilized. An officer fired eight shots at his vehicle before his arrest.

“Mr. Teneycke asked police ‘why didn’t you kill me? Start something, but you don’t have the balls to finish it,’” Hewson said.

That incident is among Teneycke’s 37 years of experience with the law, with his first in 1981 at only 18 years old.

Related: Dangerous offender hearing starts

That first conviction was theft under $5,000, and the crimes escalated until 1987, when he got more than five years for robbing a taxi driver with a weapon.

In 1991, he was convicted of sexual exploitation — the victim a teenage daughter of a woman he married while in prison. In 1995, he was sentenced to eight years for sexual assault on a teenage girl.

“The victim was terrorized. Armed with a knife, he had taken her to a secluded area, forced her to commit a series of sexual acts over the course of about four hours,” Hewson said.

Related: Last chance for prolific offender Teneycke

In 1996, he was sentenced to four years for uttering threats to kill the probation officer who prepared the pre-sentence report from his 1995 conviction.

His record continues from 2007 until his final arrest in 2015.

In the map: Green markers are events from the first day, blue the fifth day, orange the sixth day and purple the seventh day.

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Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

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