West Kelowna man faces multiple charges relating to home invasion

Elderly women was attacked in her home by a masked man last month.

A 24-year-old West Kelowna man is facing multiple criminal charges relating to an October home invasion that left an elderly woman bruised and emotionally shaken.

Mounties went to the 85 year old woman’s Butt Road residence  Oct. 25, at approximately 2:42 a.m., after receiving a call alerting to them to the home invasion.

Once on scene, they learned a man who had masked his face with what’s believed to be a toque, pushed his way into a kitchen window, said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesman for the RCMP during a Friday morning press conference.

The woman, who was home alone at the time, heard the man enter her house and called out, and the accused confronted her in her bedroom.

A  20 minute struggle, where he allegedly   pulled the phone from the wall and attempted to restrain and gag the elderly woman ensued, said O’Donaghey.

“The victim later fled her residence, she ran across the street to a neighbour where 911 was called,” said O’Donaghey.

“She sustained minor injuries as a result of being attacked and did not require any medical attention at the scene.”

She is, however, now getting help from victims’ services to deal with the emotional toll of the attack.

The suspect, who demanded pain medications, jewellery and money, later fled with the victim’s wallet, which contained credit cards and $200 in cash.

“The on-going police investigation revealed that the suspect later used the victim’s credit cards at various West Kelowna stores including Superstore, a Tim Horton’s, and London Drugs,” said O’Donaghey.

After police reviewed video surveillance footage at the businesses, they identified  Benjamin Duane Barnhart as the suspect and tracked him down.

On Oct. 26, shortly before 9 p.m. Barnhart was  arrested outside his home and taken into police custody without incident. Several items belonging to the victim were found in the home.

Barnhart, who is known to police, has been formally charged with break and enter, commit an indictable offence with his face masked, forcible confinement, three counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, possession of stolen property, forging a document or cheque and possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

Barnhart is expected to appear in court on Nov. 16.