1 min

Alleged gaybasher faces new robbery charge

Michael Kandola back in custody

WILL HE BE RELEASED? Alleged gaybasher Michael Kandola, back in custody charged with robbery, faces a bail hearing Feb 10. Credit: Jeremy Hainsworth

The man charged in the alleged gaybashing of Jordan Smith in September 2008 is in jail pending a bail hearing after being charged with robbery and using an imitation firearm.

Surrey RCMP allege that on or about Jun 5, 2009 Michael Kandola robbed Mamta Kumar of jewellery in or near Surrey.

They further allege on a separate charge that Kandola used an imitation firearm in the incident.

Kandola is already set to stand trial this April for the alleged assault of Smith.

Smith was walking hand in hand with another man on Davie St when he was allegedly subjected to homophobic slurs by a group of men, then punched unconscious by Kandola. Smith’s jaw had to be wired shut for six weeks to heal.

Kandola’s lawyer, Danny Markowitz, says his client’s new charges could potentially violate the bail conditions from his assault charge.

“Allegation of robbery is viewed as a violation in the sense that one of the conditions of every recognisance is to keep the peace and be of good behaviour,” says Markowitz.

“The omnibus condition that is there for anyone out on bail is that they keep peace and be of good behaviour. I suppose it means don’t do something bad or illegal.”

Markowitz claims that he’s been kept in the dark about his client’s new charges.

“As far as I know he’s not spoken to me about it and I don’t have any clue about this incident except what’s been given to me piecemeal by the Crown. Apparently there’s some forensic evidence that they’re going to give to link him to the crime.”

Kandola was taken into custody almost two months ago after an RCMP officer swore the information pertaining to the new charges before a court on Dec 11, 2009.

Crown spokesperson Neil Mackenzie says Kandola will face a judicial interim release hearing on Wed Feb 10, which will determine whether or not he is granted bail.

“One of the potential outcomes could result in the accused being released on very strict conditions, limited conditions depending on the circumstances of the particular case or background of accused, or the accused being held in custody,” says Mackenzie.

If convicted of armed robbery, Kandola could face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.