B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Sentence reduced for Surrey killer with mental illness

Sukhvir Singh Badhesa killed his mother and beat his wife in their Whalley home

A Surrey man who beat his 61-year-old mother to death and assaulted his wife while heavily intoxicated and in severe psychotic depression has had his prison sentence reduced by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Sukhvir Singh Badhesa, 39, had been sentenced to 1o years in jail for manslaughter and 18 months for assault causing bodily harm, consecutive but on appeal the court reduced those to seven years and one year, respectively, also consecutive.

Badhesa had originally been charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge. On appeal his lawyer argued that the trial judge had failed to sufficiently consider Badhesa’s “depressive mental illness” in assessing his moral blameworthiness.

“The appellant contends the judge imposed an unfit sentence because he gave too little weight to the appellant’s mental illness and overemphasized deterrence,” Justices Lauri Ann Fenlon and Gail Dickson noted in their reasons for judgment, posted Feb. 26.

“Taking into account the nature of the offences and the circumstances of this offender, in our view fit sentences are seven years imprisonment for the offence of manslaughter and one year’s imprisonment for the offence of assault causing bodily harm.”

As it was before, these are to be served consecutively. Justice Richard Goepel concurred.

Both crimes happened on the same evening, in Surrey. The court heard Badhesa had no prior history of violence.

“By all accounts, he deeply loved his family members, centred his life around them, supported them, and managed domestic disagreements in an entirely peaceful way,” the judges wrote. “According to his wife, he is a kind-hearted person who cherished his mother and never had angry outbursts, under the influence of alcohol or otherwise. Nor was he jealous, suspicious or accusatory. However, he did have a history of serious depression.”

READ ALSO: Man seeks bail after confession motivated to kill common-law wife: B.C. Crown

READ ALSO: Judge acquits accused Surrey drug dealer, finding arrest was ‘unlawful’

READ ALSO: Judge says Surrey drug dealer was ready for ‘gun warfare’

Badhesa had been drinking heavily for four days leading up to the March 20, 2016 killing and assault, drinking vodka, scotch and beer. The court also heard he’d been smoking opium.

He became angry with his 35-year-old wife, accusing her of cheating, and accused his mother, who lived with them in Whalley, of arranging to marry his brother “into a bad family,” an arrangement which he believed led to his brother’s “difficulties” and eventual death in June 2015.

The court heard Badhesa punched a hole in a wall, and broke drinking glasses. His wife, mother and two daughters aged seven and one ran to another part of the house and he followed, whipping her with a USB cord and hitting her with a shoe, all in front of the eldest daughter. When his mother tried to stop him, he followed her into a bedroom and attacked her with his fists and feet. She died of blunt force trauma to her head and body.

Badhesa then beat his wife some more. The judges noted that she and their daughters ran downstairs to a basement suite rented by another family, who called police who arrived in 10 minutes to find Badhesa banging on the door of the suite. The police tasered him. The court heard that as he was being transported to the jail cells, the court heard, Badhesa went from being sad and crying to yelling and upset and happy and talkative.

“The appellant has little or no memory of the day in question.”

The Crown sought a sentence of 13 years for both crimes combined, while the defence argued for four years, which is a federal sentence, that would essentially be provincial time of two years less a day after Badhesa got credit for time served. The 11.5 year sentence imposed actually worked out to eight years and nine months, taking into account the pre-sentence custody.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Rakesh Lamba testified that Badhesa was “largely amnesiac” of the crimes and at times experienced nihilistic delusions, auditory hallucinations and “perceptual disturbances.”

The appeal court judges noted that specific deterrence does not play a significant role in determining a fit sentence for an offender who is “out of touch with reality.”

Badhesa, they found, suffered from a “diagnosed mental disorder that interfered with his ability to reason, compromised his volitional and decision-making capacity and contributed to his state of self-induced intoxication, which attenuated the degree of his moral culpability.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. (File photo)
Surrey mayor taking it on the chin during budget public hearing

So far, he’s cut five callers off during Monday’s virtual meeting

A Surrey RCMP vehicle collided with another vehicle in Clayton Heights Nov. 30. (Photo: Curtis Kreklau)
PHOTOS/VIDEO: Police SUV collides with sedan in Clayton

Both drivers transported to hospital

The entrance at Fleetwood Villa in Surrey. (Photo: dignified.ca)
Fleetwood Villa resident tests positive for COVID-19, leading to ‘outbreak’ at facility

Fraser Health says it’s ‘critically important’ for people in the region to use COVID-19 assessment tool

A Surrey protest now in week 12 against a local resident has frayed the nerves of neighbours fed-up with the group’s presence. (Submitted photo)
Surrey neighbourhood fed-up with strange protest

Surrey Mounties say they’re monitoring the situation

A reminder to students at Surrey’s Strawberry Hill Elementary to physically distance during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
12 Surrey schools report COVID-19 exposures overnight, 8 over the weekend

INTERACTIVE TABLE: Search for schools, organize by exposure dates

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
32 family members respond to Abbotsford care home’s plea for staffing help during COVID-19 outbreak

Menno Home asks for relief workers for food service, laundry and housekeeping

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Most Read