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

Cloverdale Rodeo finishes with thousands in prizes, Will Senger memorial

Overall, more than 21,000 people came to the rodeo over the four days

Arrest made in last week’s double shooting in East Van

Carleton Stevens, 37, is charged with attempted murder and remains in custody

2018 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair Round-up

Looking back on the community events, rodeo and country fair that took place over May long weekend

Delta police ask for help to find missing senior

Howard Venus was last seen at 10:45 a.m. on May 20 at Delta Hospital

RCMP warns public after woman allegedly groped in Newton

Officers appealing for any information that may lead to a suspect identification

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

5 to start your day

Cloverdale Rodeo a rousing success, man arrested in East Van shooting and more

You can now tap your credit card to take public transit

TransLink unveils new feature ahead of busy tourist season

Canada’s G7 goal on development: luring private capital to poor nations

G7 finance and international development ministers convene in British Columbia next week

Congressional leaders to review information on Russia probe

Trump said he will “demand” that the Justice Department open an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign

Tall ships return to Blaine in June

The vessels Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain offer ‘a glimpse into our historic past’

Canadians stranded in Cuba after plane crash returning home

Montreal-based travel agency says hundreds of Canadians who were stuck in Cuba since a plane crash last week are returning home

As summit looms, North Korean media return to angry tone

North Korean media are stepping up their rhetorical attacks on South Korea and joint military exercises with the United States

Most Read