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Convicted B.C. pedophile living in school bus loses campsite eviction appeal

James Stephen Knight unsuccessfully claimed he was a tenant of the Creekside Campground in Sechelt, B.C.
B.C. Court. of Appeal | Mike Wakefield / North Shore News

A convicted B.C. pedophile who was living in a school bus on a rented campsite in Sechelt for several years claiming he was a tenant has lost his appeal of a request that he leave.

James Stephen Knight had taken his dispute with Sunshine Coast Campground Group Ltd., Creekside Campground and a Jane Doe to the Residential Tenancy Branch (RTB), which found it did not have jurisdiction in the dispute.

The branch made that finding on deciding Knight had a revocable licence to occupy, not a tenancy.

“Eventually, the campground had his bus removed from the site and held in storage,” B.C. Court of Appeal Justice Mary Saunders said in the three-judge panel’s unanimous April 4 decision.

She said some of Knight’s belongings were left at the site and, when he did not collect them, they were disposed of.

The appeal stems from a 2022 B.C. Supreme Court decision after Knight filed a notice of civil claim in June 2018.

Knight claimed damages for unlawful eviction, destruction of personal property, and defamation.

There, Justice Neena Sharma said the campground defendants' position was that Knight committed a number of infractions, including not keeping it neat and tidy and having outdoor structures on site without prior approval.

They also alleged he frequently got into disputes with other guests and staff, including making threats.

Knight told the court he kept his site neat to his standards and that the campground standards were ”ridiculous.”

The situation ended with RCMP attending, an altercation taking place and Knight being taken away.

At one point, Knight sought an order preventing the campground defendants from removing his bus or belongings pending the outcome of the judicial review of the RTB decision.

“His application was heard and dismissed by the chief justice,” Sharma said. That dismissal was Oct. 31, 2016.

Sharma ultimately ruled he had a licence to occupy and not a tenancy agreement.

“The campground defendants treated him fairly and in a reasonable manner,” she said.

The appeal court agreed Knight was at the site under a licence to occupy.

“A licence to occupy is not a form of common law tenancy as Mr. Knight would have it,” Saunders said.


Knight alleged the Jane Doe called him a “f**king pedophile.”

Sharma said Knight was convicted in April 1999 of exposing himself to a person under 16 for a sexual purpose.

Sharma said that despite pleading guilty, Knight argued there was no sexual element to his conviction. In case examination for discovery, he said he didn’t mind being called a pedophile because, in his view, the word only refers to someone who “cares about” children.

Sharma dismissed the defamation allegation.

“If he does not mind being called a pedophile, it is unclear how he can maintain that being called one diminished his reputation,” she said.

At one point, Sharma had Knight removed from court for raising his middle finger. She called his behaviour contemptuous.

Saunders said the defamation claim could not succeed.