The mother of the man charged with second-degree murder in the 2017 death of Surrey teen Bhavkiran Dhesi pleaded guilty Friday morning (May 21) in Surrey Provincial Court to wilfully obstructing a peace officer in connection with the incident.
Manjit Kaur Deo, arrested in May 2019, was initially charged with ‘accessory after the fact to murder’ in connection with Dhesi’s death. The teen’s body was found in a burned SUV in South Surrey on Aug. 2, 2017.
Prosecutor Sameena Nahal said she could not comment on why Crown chose to proceed on a lesser charge against Deo, citing the upcoming trial of three other accused.
Harjot Singh Deo, Gurvinder Singh Deo and Talwinder Khun Khun are scheduled for trial in B.C. Supreme Court in January 2022 in connection with Dhesi’s death. Harjot Deo is facing the most serious charge, while Gurvinder Deo and Khun Khun – his brother and cousin, respectively – are charged with ‘indecently interfere with or offer an indignity to human remains,’ as well as ‘accessory after the fact to murder.’
Harjot Deo is also charged with ‘indecently interfere with or offer an indignity to human remains.’
Manjit Deo, 55, attended court Friday with an interpreter, her daughter Inderdeep and several others. Several members of Dhesi’s family were also on hand for the proceedings, including her sister, her mother and cousins. The turnout put the courtroom over pandemic-related capacity limits, prompting court officials to open another room to accommodate the overflow.
Victim-impact statements were read by Anjali Dhesi, Taljeet Khakh and Jasmine Dhesi – the victim’s sister and cousins.
Anjali Dhesi said without her sister, her family is “broken.”
“That night, we lost everything that made our lives meaningful,” she told the court. “From this day until my last day, I will never be the same.”
Judge Mark Jetté accepted a joint sentencing submission from Nahal and defence counsel Gloria Ng, agreeing that a conditional discharge was an appropriate penalty for the senior.
Jetté noted mitigating factors include that Manjit Deo has no other history with the law, and that she spent 29 days in custody following her May 2019 arrest.
Following the sentencing – which included 25 hours of community service, one year probation and conditions including no contact with the three men still facing trial – Crown directed a stay of proceedings on the charge against Inderdeep Deo, who had also been initially charged with ‘accessory after the fact to murder.’
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