Application dismissed for Vernon man convicted of drug, weapons charges

Ronald Charles Learning was sentenced to six years in prison in 2017

A Vernon man convicted of multiple weapons and drug charges has had his application for appointment of counsel to argue his conviction appeal dismissed.

Ronald Charles Learning, born 1983, was found guilty on 21 drug and firearm-related charges in 2017 and sentenced to six years in prison. Learning made an application to appeal his conviction recently, which was dismissed by the Honourable Justice Savage.

Learning was arrested in relation to a large amount of heroin originating from Thailand at the Vancouver Airport. The Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit believed the heroin to be for trafficking purposes.

Following Learning’s arrest, RCMP obtained a warrant to search his residence where they uncovered four weapons, ammunition, stolen identification and various prescription and non-prescription drugs.

However, in his application for counsel to argue his appeal, Learning challenged the possession of the weapons and said that the trial judge erred in principle by misapprehending and/or disregarding relevant evidence and that the judge erred by failing to properly apply the law with respect to circumstantial evidence.

“Viewed holistically, the Crown says that the appellant was convicted at trial, not because of errors made by the judge, but rather because the case against him was simple and compelling, inevitably leading to a conviction. I agree in large part with that submission,” Justice Savage said in his reasons.

“In the result, in my view, it would not be desirable in the interests of justice to appoint state-funded counsel in this case.”

Learning was previously sentenced in Regina Provincial Court to eight years and 234 days after being found guilty of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. The six-year conviction was added to that time.


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