A former candidate for Surrey council is now behind bars for hitting a pedestrian while driving drunk prior to last November’s election.
Kuljinder Singh Gill, who ran for Surrey council under the name “Gill 22”, was sentenced in December to nine months in jail.
Gill received 5,064 votes, even though The Leader had reported prior to the election that he had previously been found guilty of uttering threats and mischief under $5,000 in July 2004. He was also charged with assault the same year, and was found guilty of breach of his probation order.
He served two weeks in Surrey Pretrial Services Centre for the offenses.
Gill said at the time that those things were part of his past and he had learned from them.
“In the past, I have had a negative side,” Gill said at the time.
However, on July 17, 2011, Gill consumed a significant amount of alcohol – more than double the legal limit for driving – hopped into his Mustang convertible and sped down 84 Avenue.
According to court documents he turned the corner at 128 Street at 80 km/h and lost control of the vehicle, causing Gill’s Mustang to jump the curb and slam into a bench, where 29-year-old Pardeep Johal was sitting.
Johal suffered a broken foot that required a steel plate to mend, a broken pubic bone, and needed 15 staples on a head wound.
In his victim impact statement, Johal said, “I do not hate Mr. Gill, but I want to ask him: Why?”
It’s expected a civil suit will follow.
Surrey Provincial Court Judge Gurmail Gill noted that Kuljinder Singh Gill was “no stranger to drinking and driving,” noting he has a lengthy record of such offenses, particularly prior to 2006.
“It appears that at least at the time he was getting these 24-hour prohibitions that drinking and driving was almost akin to a recreational activity for him,” Gill wrote in his finding.
Gill was sentenced to nine months in jail, followed by an 18-month probation, where he agreed to abstain from drinking alcohol or other intoxicants.
He was also given a two-year driving prohibition.
As for his political career, it’s unlikely Gill will be able to file his financial disclosures by the March 19 deadline, precluding him from running municipally anywhere in the B.C. for the 2013 election.
On the off chance he had won the election, Gill’s seat would have been rendered vacant on March 19 for failure to file.