The youth charged in an alleged Dec 13, 2009, gaybashing off Commercial Dr is closer to a trial date after appearing before Provincial Court Judge Ann Ehrcke for a pretrial conference on Sept 8.
The youth, who can’t be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act because he was 17 when the alleged assault occurred, informed the court that he will be represented by Surrey attorney Evi dos Santos, who was not present at the hearing.
The youth, now 19, will appear before the court on Sept 15, at which time a date will be set for a pretrial hearing. That hearing will likely determine the date of the trial.
On May 20, 2010, the accused pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm in a case in which anti-gay slurs were allegedly uttered. Later that year, the youth fired his first lawyer, hired a second and changed his plea to not guilty.
He has had three trial dates so far. The first trial date was initially scheduled for July 2010 but was delayed until March 29 due to conflicting accounts of the alleged incident. The March 29 date had to be rescheduled as the youth’s then-lawyer had doubled booked the date. It was then booked for three days beginning Aug 22 but was put off to Sept 1 after the accused fired his second lawyer.
“This matter should have been cleared up well over a year ago,” Justice of the Peace Judy Norton told the youth Sept 1. “You’re wearing us out.”