Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray is appealing his sex assault conviction and nine-month sentence.

Former Lower Mainland councillor appeals sex assault conviction

Judges hear David Murray quest to have his conviction and nine-month sentence overturned

A former Lower Mainland politician, David Murray, was in court on Friday morning to appeal his sex assault conviction.

Murray, a previous Pitt Meadows city councillor, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 1992, in a decision by Justice Deirdre Pothecary in Port Coquitlam provincial court in 2017. He received a nine-month sentence.

He is appealing both the conviction and his sentence, and on Friday the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver dealt with the matter of his conviction, with Murray not in attendance.

His lawyer, David Ferguson, argued that Pothecary improperly devalued defence evidence, and Ferguson asked for a new trial. The lawyer said the judge shifted the burden of proof in the case, and held Murray’s evidence to a higher standard than Crown evidence. He also said Crown provided no accurate timeline.

Prosecutor Mary Brown said Pothecary gave equal weight to Murray and the victim’s evidence in her reasons for judgement, with 25 paragraphs on each in the written ruling. She told the court the record does not show an imbalanced scrutiny of evidence.

The appeal was heard by Justices Nicole Garson, Gregory Fitch and Patrice Abrioux. They asked for more written submissions from Murray’s lawyer and Crown, to be received in November.

Murray is on bail until a decision is rendered.

Murray, secretary-treasurer of the CUPE Fraser Valley District Labour Council, was originally charged in November 2016 with sexual assault and sexual interference of a person under the age of 14. But Crown counsel asked for the second charge to be stayed, citing an inability to confirm whether the complainant was 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged attack.

Murray remained on Pitt Meadows council and attended regular meetings throughout the investigation and trial. Following the conviction in October 2017, he resigned effective the following January.

The council has been lobbying the provincial government to introduce legislation that would compel a municipal politician convicted of a serious crime to resign.

Last September, the Union of B.C. Municipalities backed a resolution on the topic from Pitt Meadows council. Minister of Municipal Affairs Selina Robinson has said she will work on creating new legislation with the organization.


 

@NeilCorbett18
ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Surrey latest city to denounce Quebec’s Bill 21

The bill bans public workers from wearing religious symbols while working

Cloverdale ‘Ladies’ Night Out’ shopping event expected to draw thousands

Annual event kicks off the holiday shopping season in downtown Cloverdale

Surrey RCMP say three people deported in connection to brawl caught on video

Police say they have been ‘actively engaged’ in the issue of youth fights in Newton since March

South Surrey’s A Rocha Canada an agriculture-leader finalist

Surrey Board of Trade industry event set for Nov. 21

Guildford highrise proposals pass third reading despite community opposition

City of Surrey received 229-signature petition opposing the plan

Bye bye Bei Bei: Giant panda born in U.S. zoo heads to China

Panda heads back to China as part of cooperative breeding program

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

B.C. man who killed Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

Workers union calls strike vote in SkyTrain labour dispute

Mediated talks are scheduled to begin Nov. 28

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

Most Read