B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Accused loses bid to be tried separately in Surrey group beating

Victim beaten with fists and weapons, resulting in injuries to his face, neck, shoulders and back.

NEW WESTMINSTER — A man accused of participating in the beating of a man in Surrey has lost his application to be tried separately from the other men who’ve also been charged with assault causing bodily harm.

The case is Regina v. Sukhdeep Singh Dhaliwal, Chaten Singh Dhindsa, Gurpreet Singh Dhudwal, Davit Singh Randhawa, Karnjit Singh Randhawa and Ravinder Singh Samra.

The six were charged with assault causing bodily harm for a Dec. 6, 2016 incident. Crown alleges Dharminder Brar was lured to a place in Surrey by Dhindsa where he was beaten with fists and weapons.

Dhaliwal has already entered a guilty plea and has been sentenced. The trial for the remaining five is set for 15 days, by jury, to start on March 5, 2018.

READ ALSO: Court date moved for Cloverdale pastor, wife accused of sexual assault

READ ALSO: Heart problems delay Surrey manslaughter sentencing

READ ALSO: ‘Evil won that day,’ Surrey mom says

Dhudwal applied, under a Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms argument, to be tried apart from his fellow accused because his lawyer is not available for the March trial date.

“If my trial goes ahead in March, I will not be able to have my counsel of choice and may end up being self-represented. The prospect of this causes me great anxiety and stress as I know the Crown is asking for significant jail time should I be convicted,” Dhudwal said in a sworn affidavit to the court.

“I have no real experience with the criminal justice system and would find representing myself to be a really bad idea.”

Justice Carol Ross, in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, dismissed his severance application on Dec. 4.

She said the onus is on the accused to show, on a balance of probabilities, that the interests of justice require a separate trial.

“There is a strong presumption in favour of joint trials where the accused are alleged to have engaged in a joint criminal enterprise,” Ross said. “For those persons who are alleged to have conspired to or have committed a crime in concert, separate trials are the exception and not the norm.”

She noted joint trials are “more likely to uncover the truth” and “avoid inconsistent verdicts.” They’re also more efficient and “less dispruptive for witnesses.”

The judge noted the right to counsel of choice “is not absolute. It is subject to reasonable limitations. In considering such an issue, the court must balance the individual right, public policy and public interest in the administration of justice and basic principles of fairness.”

“The right to counsel of choice,” Ross added, ” is a right that will defer to the necessity of a joint trial. The right to counsel of choice in a joint trial must be balanced against the right of the co-accused to be tried within a reasonable time.”

Just Posted

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

Surrey-raised Merkules raps his way around the world

Cole Stevenson opens up about his ‘Scars,’ a hit remix of ‘Old Town Road’ and how he’s pals with Shaq

Fundraiser launched for South Surrey stabbing victim’s funeral

Paul Prestbakmo remembered for ‘amazing smile, great soul’

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Mouse infestation hit Langley hospital’s kitchens

Droppings and urine were found by Fraser Health inspectors in the spring

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

B.C. mom mourns 14-year-old son whose fatal overdose was posted online

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Most Read