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

Air quality advisory continues in the Lower Mainland

Smoke from Interior fires brings fine particulate

Eagle tree cut down in South Surrey for ‘The Eagles’ development

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

TONIGHT: Grand finale of Concerts at the Pier

East Beach event set to begin at 7 p.m.

VIDEO: Burnouts in the Sky returns in honour of Bradley McPherson

Annual car show returns for first time since McPherson’s killer was convicted

‘Do or die’ time for Whalley, who fell in first game of Little League World Series

Team Canada goes down to powerful Panama in Williamsport, plays Spain Saturday

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

Most Read