Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

'A tragic accident': B.C. manslaughter accused was provoked, court told

Jeffrey Scott Van Dyke has pleaded not guilty in connection with the June 2022 death of Scott Alan Carver.
Vancouver Provincial Court
The two men were both sixth-floor residents of First Place Residence in Vancouver.

A Vancouver man accused of manslaughter had been the subject of repeated harassment and was protecting his property at the time another man sustained fatal head injuries, a B.C. judge heard March 18.

Jeffrey Scott Van Dyke, 62, has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter in the June 2, 2022 death of Scott Alan Carver, 56. His trial began March 11.

Defence lawyer Glen Orris told Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Jennifer Oulton that Van Dyke had been the recipient of multiple communications from Carver designed to harass, anger and insult.

“I’m not going to go through them,” Orris said. “They’re disgusting.”

“Why he was doing this we don’t know,” Orris said. “This harassment had been going on for quite some time.”

Orris took Oulton through a pharmacy surveillance video capturing the outside of First Place Residence at 118 East 1st Ave. That was where Vancouver Police Department officers were called to reports of an assault.

Carver was found at the scene and taken to hospital where he died.

Oulton heard the cause of death was a blunt-force head injury that caused a scalp laceration, a skull fracture and a buildup of blood on the brain.

Carver underwent brain surgery and was stable for several days before dying, Crown prosecutor Jenny Dyck said at the trial’s start.

The events

Going through the video, Orris said Carver was using thick chalk to write an insult to Van Dyke on the sidewalk where Van Dyke usually parked his electric scooter.

Orris said Carver had written “my shemale sis…” on the ground before Van Dyke pulled up behind him on the scooter.

“Does he stop?” Orris asked. “No, he doesn’t. He continues to write.”

Carver then backs up against the bike or Van Dyke. Here, Oulton interrupted, suggesting it was not clear Carver knew Van Dyke was there.

Orris, however, disagreed.

At this point, Van Dyke pushed Carver forward. Carver then poked Van Dyke with his cane leading to a tussle over the cane. Punches were thrown.

Van Dyke backed off and moved out of the video frame.

Carver then retrieved the cane and advanced on Van Dyke, who kept his distance.

Then, Carver began kicking Van Dyke’s scooter. Van Dyke pushed Carver, who went over backwards.

“That is where the injury occurred,” Orris said. “He falls back and hits his head.”

He questioned what Carver expected would happen when he kicked Van Dyke’s scooter.

“It’s the actions of Mr. Carver that are causing Mr. Van Dyke to respond,” Orris said, adding defending property and provocation are valid defences for manslaughter in Canadian law.

“It’s a tragic accident,” he said.

Ongoing problems

Dyck told Oulton Van Dyke and Carver were both sixth-floor residents of First Place Residence.

First Place program manager Michael Lawson testified the relationship between Carver and Van Dyke was not good, and that he witnessed several arguments between the men.

Lawson said he had written a letter to Carver regarding notes that had been left in the elevator and on Van Dyke’s door making sexual orientation slurs. Orris questioned what effect the letter had on the situation.

“There was no effect,” he told the judge.

The death was the city's seventh homicide of 2022.