Blair Balch, 49, is awaiting sentencing related to the explosions that rocked Penticton earlier in 2021. (RCMP)

Blair Balch, 49, is awaiting sentencing related to the explosions that rocked Penticton earlier in 2021. (RCMP)

New evidence delays Penticton bomber’s sentencing

This is the second time sentencing is delayed in case of explosives that rocked Penticton in 2021

Sentencing has been delayed again for the Penticton man who pleaded guilty to setting off explosives in 2021.

Blair Robert Balch was scheduled for sentencing in Penticton Provincial Court on Monday, Aug. 29 but both Crown counsel and the defence asked for an adjournment.

Crown told Judge Greg Koturbash that there is new evidence in the case and they needed more time to get a hold of an expert from a ‘special unit’ based out of the Lower Mainland.

Crown has been unable to get a hold of the expert in the special unit, likely the RCMP’s bomb squad.

Judge Korturbash urged both councils to expedite the priority of this case.

“This has been moving along at a snail’s pace and I appreciate that it’s a unique case, but it also needs to be dealt with in a fairly expeditious fashion,” said Koturbash.

Sentencing was delayed in June to provide the judge with more information.

Balch, 49, had pleaded guilty to creating three improvised explosive devices, two of which he had set off and one that was a dud which he threw in Ellis Creek.

Three other separate explosives were found at that time but Balch said those weren’t his.

He turned himself in to the police after RCMP put out a wanted picture of him. He admitted he had learned how to build a bomb on YouTube. He was living at Burdock House at the time.

The timing of the explosions, in the early hours of the morning, was chosen by Balch as a way of mitigating the hazards of his actions, according to defence.

“I had no intent to hurt anybody, that’s why I did it at the time. I see around and make sure nobody would get hurt,” Balch told the court at the time. “I’m not a terrorist.”

Crown prosecution is seeking 13 months of jail time for Balch, based in part on his previous extensive criminal record of 87 convictions.

Defence is seeking a 12-month conditional sentence.

READ MORE: Bomber sentencing delayed

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