A Chilliwack man has received a four-year sentence for an attempted kidnapping and assault in 2022.
Bradley Van Geel, 38, appeared by video for sentencing Wednesday (June 7) at the Chilliwack Law Courts, with judge Rita Bowry delivering the verdict. Crown and defence presented a joint submission, with Van Geel pleading guilty to one count of attempted kidnapping and one count of assault with a weapon.
The attempted kidnapping was a plea down from the original charge of kidnapping without the use of a firearm, and the assault with a weapon charge was a plea down from the original charge of aggravated assault. Van Geel had seven charges stayed, including several that were firearms related and one of driving while prohibited.
Crown prosecutor Aaron Burns presented the facts of the case. On Sept. 4, 2022 co-accused Chelsey Loranger drove the victim of the kidnapping and assault, 31-year-old Curtis Shayne Hocken, to the Ryder Lake area of Chilliwack in a silver Audi. Van Geel followed them on a motorcycle. When he arrived he pulled the victim out of the car, hit him on the head with his motorcycle helmet and attempted to stuff him into the trunk of the car.
The entire incident was caught on video and reported to police by people living in the area. Burns said the victim was able to escape the kidnapping attempt and run away with a blood coming from an open wound on the top of his head.
Loranger was arrested at the scene and Van Geel was arrested later at his home. When police executed a search warrant they found a video on his computer that showed him and Loranger wearing the same clothes they were wearing at the scene of the crime. That played a key role tying him to the crime scene footage.
Burns referenced a moderate criminal record dating back to 2005 as an aggravating factor in his sentence.
As for mitigating factors, defence lawyer Jayse Reveley said Van Geel has been doing well at Surrey Pretrial Services Centre, working towards his Dogwood certificate and other education. Van Geel had addiction issues entering custody and Reveley said he’s been successfully dealing with that.
He’s been behind bars for 277 days since being arrested, and he has 416 days with time-and-a-half credit. That leaves 1,044 remaining.
Had the matter been decided at trial, Burns suggested the normal sentence range would be somewhere been five and 10 years. But he said Van Geel saved the court the time and expense of a trial, citing that as another mitigating factor. Burns also noted that he has accepted responsibility for the crime.
Loranger is due to receive her sentence at the Chilliwack Law Courts Thursday morning (June 8).