The Chilliwack man out on bail mid-trial in connection with a series of online videos where the accused posed with weapons threatening to do harm to Muslims, is back in jail.
Seth Robert Tait, 27, was on trial May 18 and 19 facing two charges in connection with the videos posted on YouTube: possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and uttering threats.
Near the end of the trial on May 19, Judge Robert Cohen said that after seeing the videos he was surprised Tait’s mental state had not been addressed. Neither Crown nor defence asked for a pre-sentence report (PSR) with a psychological component, nevertheless, Cohen ordered it.
Tait was out on bail due back in court July 18 for a next appearance to check on the status of the PSR. But last week allegations emerged that Tait had breached conditions of his bail and on June 1 he was re-arrested.
He then spent the weekend in Surrey Pre-Trial and went before Judge Richard Browning on June 7 for another bail hearing at which time Browning denied bail and remanded Tait until the completion of his trial.
In some of the young man’s “Soldier of Christ” videos he makes what Crown argue are threats to Muslims. In most of the videos played in court he speaks into the camera dressed in military garb. In some he is seen brandishing handguns (that he says are BB guns), a shotgun, various knives, machetes and other survival gear.
In the muffled audio, Tait can be heard preaching verses from the Bible and talking about all manner of conspiracy theories.
“There are Muslims that are here that rape little babies to death in gangs and force mothers to watch,” he says in one.
Looking past the clearly delusional statements about things such as chemtrails and the New World Order, it was the videos about Muslims that got the attention of individuals online who alerted authorities after the Jan. 29 shooting at a Quebec mosque. That led to Tait’s arrest on Feb. 5, 2017 by the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) outside the apartment where he was living downtown Chilliwack.
When he was arrested, Tait was found with a large, unsheathed hunting knife in the back of an acquaintance’s SUV in a parking lot at Nowell Street and Yale Road. That knife was shown in court and marked as a piece of evidence.
Crown counsel John Lester cross-examined Tait in court on Friday about a number of things said in the videos, including that he had a machete that’s good for cutting up bodies, and that he wanted to get some pork bullets “to shoot up Muslim asses.”
“You would agree an ordinary person would consider that a threat?” Lester asked.
“Yes,” Tait responded.
Tait’s lawyer Bobby Movassaghi put his defendant on the witness stand. The defence case is focused on free speech and Tait’s claim that, despite repeated statements suggesting action is needed soon, he never really planned to act on his threats.