Charges stayed for man wrongfully convicted in Surrey rape case

Gurdev Singh Dhillon served jail time and was deported before miscarriage of justice was determined.

Ten years after a former Surrey man was wrongfully convicted in the rape of a teen and subsequently deported his charges have been stayed.

Gurdev Singh Dhillon was found guilty in 2005 of the sexual assault of a 19-year-old woman the year prior in a basement suite. He was sentenced to four years in jail and after serving his time, was deported to India.

Appeals of both his conviction and sentence were dismissed in 2006.

In 2011, however, Crown counsel discovered material evidence DNA from two men seized from the victim that had not been disclosed by police. Neither DNA profile matched Dhillon’s.

A special prosecutor was appointed and Delta Police took over the investigation. In early 2013, the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch concluded there was a miscarriage of justice in Dhillon’s case.

The case was sent to the B.C. Court of Appeal to determine whether the appropriate remedy for the miscarriage of justice was acquittal, a new trial or a judicial stay of proceedings.

A ruling Friday says an acquittal was not appropriate under the circumstances, and a new trial would “not be in the interests of justice.

The incident took place on July 7, 2004. At trial, the victim testified she was driven to the Surrey basement suite by two males and met a third in the suite. The victim described all three as “East Indian. She said was pushed into a bedroom where two of the three males raped her. She said the owner of the suite was one of those men and identified Dhillon as the owner.

Investigators who searched the suite within hours of her complaint found Dhillon passed out on the floor, naked and intoxicated. He was the sole accused to stand trial.

Last year, Dhillon’s lawyer said the wrongful conviction had destroyed his client’s life, causing him to lose his freedom, his Canadian residency and his wife.

The Crown argued a stay of proceedings was the appropriate remedy, while Dhillon’s lawyer argued an acquittal was appropriate.

“While I agree there has been a miscarriage of justice, I do not find an acquittal to be the appropriate remedy. In my view, the fresh evidence is not sufficiently cogent to exclude the reasonable possibility of a conviction,” said Justice Anne MacKenzie in her Dec. 5 reasons for judgment, ordering a stay of proceedings. “The test for an acquittal is strict: the court must be satisfied that no jury acting reasonably could convict on the evidence.

Mohammed Zaaid Ukhttar, 44, and Sital Singh Bhatti, 35, were subsequently charged with sexual assault in the case. They are scheduled to go to trial in June.

 

Just Posted

Lost a ring? This White Rock man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

PHOTOS: Family Day celebrated at Historic Stewart Farm

Youngsters participate in some old fashioned fun

Clayton’s little neighbourhood libraries are open for business

’Take a book, leave a book’ initiative aims to bring Clayton residents closer together

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

VIDEO: Winterhawks end Giants winning streak at seven

Playing on home ice, Vancouver’s G-Men fell 5-3 during a Family Day game against Portland.

Aaron Pritchett and George Canyon to headline Gone Country concert in Cloverdale this summer

‘Early bird tickets on sale via Twins Cancer Fundraising website

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

UPDATE: Plane flips over at Pitt Meadows airport

The pilot and lone occupant exited the aircraft on his own and uninjured.

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Most Read

l -->