Alleged killer of Surrey hockey mom appeared in court Monday

SURREY — Julie Paskall’s alleged killer made his first court appearance Monday morning just after 10 a.m.

Yosef Jomo Gopaul, 27, is charged with second degree murder Paskall’s death.

Wearing a blue fleece sweater, a sombre Gopaul was remanded Monday and is next due in court on June 13.

Simon Buck, part of the defence in the Surrey Six trial, is Gopaul’s lawyer.

At the Surrey provincial courthouse Monday morning, Buck said he was “not prepared to talk about the case.”

The Brampton Guardianreported a man by the same name was charged with aggravated sexual assault in 2010.

On Jan. 1, 2010, at approximately 2:30 a.m., a 29-year-old woman was attacked on the street. She was pushed to the ground and dragged towards a nearby creek, the newspaper reported.

The suspect fled on foot after a witness began to approach them.

The victim sustained injuries to her face and body. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated and released.

Through the course of the investigation, it was learned that the suspect had contact with the victim earlier that night at a local establishment. He was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault.

A representative from the Ontario Court of Justice did not find anything in the court system under the man’s name, but said that doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t convicted.

Peel Regional Police confirmed a man by that name was charged in 2010, but would not comment on the outcome of the charge, only saying, “the matter was dealt with here in Peel. It was completed here.”

Last Saturday, Integrated Homicide Investigation Team spokesperson Supt. Kevin Hackett wouldn’t confirm if the man charged in Brampton was the suspect in the Paskall case, but did say the man had a criminal record from another province.

Hackett said Gopaul came to the city from Ontario eight weeks prior to the attack. He did not know why Gopaul made the move, but said he had a fixed address in Surrey.

Police knew of the suspect within the first month of the investigation, Hackett said.

When asked if police confirmed the motive behind the attack to be robbery, and perhaps found Paskall’s purse, Hackett said he couldn’t comment, as doing so could jeopardizing the case through the court process. He would only say, “We are here because we’ve got the evidence.”

“Our combined investigation efforts to date have been extensive,” Hackett said.

“It included a significant canvas of the area, review of approximately 1,000 hours of video footage and countless hours of physical surveillance.”

Hackett couldn’t say whether police suspect Gopaul is responsible for other attempted robberies in the area, only saying police continue to investigate.

During Saturday’s press conference, Surrey RCMP Chief Supt. Bill Fordy took to the podium and sent his condolences to the Paskall family.

He said the crime touched him as a citizen of Surrey, police chief, hockey dad, hockey player and former coach.

“Julie’s death not only had a devastating effect on her family and friends, the community of Newton, the City of Surrey, but the entire hockey community across this country.”

Fordy said in the weeks following Paskall’s murder, he attended community meetings and received many calls. He had this to say to residents: “I heard you crystal clear. Your concerns, fears, frustration and suggestions. But, I also heard and felt and saw your support and your trust.”

Paskall, a 53-year-old hockey mom, was brutally beaten in what police believe was an attempted robbery on Dec. 29, 2013 while picking up her son from the Newton Arena. She died days later in hospital.