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Ansari appeal rejected

Not up to Court of Appeal to re-assess sentence: judge

The BC Court of Appeal has unanimously rejected a Crown appeal of the five-year sentence handed to gay former Odyssey bouncer Sasan Ansari.


A jury convicted Ansari of manslaughter last November for the May 23, 2006 killing of Joshua Goos at West Vancouvers Hollyburn Country Club.


At trial, Ansari admitted he stabbed Goos repeatedly but claimed he had no memory of the incident.


Justice Mark McEwan found that Goos had been stabbed 30 times. Security cameras showed a trail of blood.


The jury also heard that Goos had loaned $90,000 to his high-school friend and had been demanding repayment of a significantly higher amount.


McEwan said the details of the business dealing between the two were not clear.


He did say, though, that Goos had told Ansari he was bringing someone else to the country club meeting.


McEwan described that as a threat. “There is much more to Mr Goos than the evidence [shows],” he said.


Ansari’s lawyers argued a defense of automatism, a dissociative state which is a recognized psychiatric condition resulting in amnesia.


Defence lawyer Peter Wilson said the evidence also pointed to Goos as being the aggressor in the confrontation.


Ansari had testified that Goos pulled a knife and threatened to harm Ansari’s boyfriend and family members.


In the appeal, the Crown submitted that in sentencing Ansari Justice Mark McEwan “failed to properly assess the gravity of the offence and significantly underestimated Mr Ansaris moral blameworthiness.”


The prosecution had asked for 12 years in jail at sentencing. On appeal, it asked for the sentence to be increased to eight years.


Justice Robert Baumann ruled that it is not the role of the appellate court to re-assess sentencing.


But the appeal courts decision did allow for an appeal of the verdict.


Ansari will be eligible for statutory release after serving two-thirds of his sentence.