With a trial set for next week, the Crown has stayed charges related to alleged 2019 kidnapping

Kidnapping charges stayed

Three people were originally scheduled to face trial in Kelowna's BC Supreme Court next week for a high-profile kidnapping, but the Crown has stayed the charges.

On Feb. 27, 2019, a man suffering serious injuries was dropped off at Kelowna General Hospital. He told police he had attended a Kelowna home to buy drugs, but was held against his will and assaulted.

A few days later on the evening of March 1, Kelowna RCMP and the Emergency Response Team arrested five people at several locations across Kelowna in connection with the incident.

Clayton Zeleniski, 50, Dalton Zeleniski, 20, Shane Haines, 34, Timothy Hennessy, 39, and Nicole Sidhu, 26, were all charged with a variety of charges in relation to the incident, including kidnapping, aggravated assault and unlawful confinement.

All five were released on bail shortly after their arrest, and within the next several months, all but Clayton Zeleniski were charged with breaching their bail conditions.

Exactly one year after the injured man showed up at KGH, the Crown dropped all charges against Sidhu and Dalton Zeleniski, but a preliminary inquiry proceeded for the remaining three accused.

A preliminary inquiry is held to test the Crown's evidence in front of a judge, who determines if the matter should proceed to a Supreme Court trial.

A judge determined the Crown's case against Clayton Zeleniski, Shane Haines and Timothy Hennessy was strong enough to proceed, and a trial was scheduled for Jan. 18, 2021.

But last October, the Crown stayed all charges against the three accused for the alleged kidnapping incident.

As is generally the case in these situations, the Crown would not say what changed in the seven months between the conclusion of the preliminary inquiry and the staying of the charges.

Dan McLaughlin, spokesperson for the BC Prosecution Service, said the charge was stayed “after the BCPS received further information related to the charges before the court.”

“After carefully reviewing this information and the other available evidence against the accused, the Crown Counsel with conduct of the file determined that the charge assessment standard was no longer met,” McLaughlin added.

Clayton Zeleniski is still facing unrelated weapons charges after police executed a search warrant at his house on Gerstmar Road on Jan. 28. Despite his extensive criminal history, he was released on bail until his most recent arrest last weekend.

He now faces additional charges related to an alleged home invasion Saturday night on Rutland's Webster Road.

Meanwhile, Dalton Zeleniski was charged with assault for a June 1, 2019 incident, but that charge was also stayed by the Crown last January, on the day he was set to face trial.

Shane Haines has outstanding firearms and resisting arrest charges from last June in the Lower Nicola region, along with uttering threats and breaching release order charges stemming from last July in Williams Lake.

More Kelowna News