The sentencing hearing for a man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in South Surrey was adjourned this week, after lawyers were caught off-guard by findings of a psychiatric report on Dardan Elbasani.
“It is probably one of the worst I’ve ever seen and has completely changed the landscape for both counsels,” Crown Jennifer Lopez told Judge Ellen Gordon in Surrey Provincial Court Tuesday.
Elbasani, 23, was arrested in a Niagara Falls, Ont., casino last July in connection with a June 16 sexual assault in Southmere Village Park.
At the time, he was also wanted on outstanding warrants in Surrey, White Rock and Langley.
Lopez told Peace Arch News that Tuesday’s sentencing was originally expected to deal with the sexual-assault charge, as well as assault charges resulting from a May incident in White Rock and a breach of probation charge. Elbasani pleaded guilty to those offences at an earlier date, Lopez said, which eliminated the need for a trial.
Lopez told Gordon that she and Elbasani’s lawyer only received the psychiatric report on the day prior, Oct. 31. It notes that Elbasani’s drug use made the assessment difficult, Lopez said.
Gordon ordered a supplemental report, and the sentencing hearing is now set for Jan. 18.
Lopez told PAN she could not speculate on what kind of sentence she will argue for. She does plan, however, to introduce victim-impact statements.
Elbasani remains in custody.