Father seeks financial aid

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The father of a Salt Spring man charged with second-degree murder is seeking financial support to offset costs of visiting his son while he is in custody.

Last Tuesday Martin Galen Jan Vandenberg, 22, was ordered by a Duncan Provincial Court judge to receive a psychiatric assessment to determine if he is fit to stand trial for the charge of murdering his mother Heather Jones. She was found dead in her Maliview Drive home on Dec. 6, 2017. Vandenberg’s next court appearance is scheduled for Duncan on Feb. 6.

The accused’s father, Martin Buck Vandenberg, of Salt Spring, initiated a GoFundMe campaign on Saturday, hoping to raise $2,000.

“The reason why I need or am really asking for help is that I live on a island and catching ferries to go to meetings or to see our son is costing a lot of money and also because our son was helping me by paying half the rent and bills. I do have a job, but I have to miss days for meetings or seeing our son which means a very small paycheck,” he states on the GoFundMe page.

As of Sunday evening, $745 had been raised. The campaign is titled “Please Help Me See Our Son.”

Vandenberg had also faced a financial challenge after his dog was found injured miles away from his Rainbow Road home the week before Christmas. A GoFundMe campaign initiated on Dec. 19, 2017 estimated cost of specialty surgery in Burnaby at $4,800. That campaign is now completed with $850 raised.

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