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Drive bashing hearing delayed again

Is the youth stalling?

The sentencing hearing for the youth accused in an alleged Dec 13 gaybashing on Commercial Dr has been delayed once more – this time to Oct 14.

The youth, who can’t be named by law because he was 17 at the time of the offence, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm on May 20.

The sentencing was due to begin on July 6 but was delayed to Sept 29 due to inconsistencies in a pre-sentencing report.

It was delayed again yesterday when the parties attended court. Youth court registry staff could not tell Xtra the reason for this latest delay.

Crown prosecutor Shannon Smith told Vancouver Youth Court Judge Jodie Werier in July there were “very significant” differences between the accused’s version of events and those of the victim and witnesses.

The man the youth attacked underwent surgery on Dec 14 for a broken jaw after allegedly being targeted with homophobic slurs and repeatedly punched and kicked.

Billy (who gave Xtra only his first name) said he was leaving a house party with friends when a man standing nearby began to harass them.

“He pushed my girlfriend on the floor. I went to help her up and he kicked me in the face by my eye,” Billy alleged.

“He called me a ‘fucking faggot,’ ‘you fucking gay,’ ‘you piece of shit,’ ‘you’re worthless’ – just kept on calling me ‘fag, fag, fag.'”

It remains to be seen if the case will be pursued as a hate crime at sentencing.

At the time of the incident, the Vancouver Police Department received a complaint of people fighting around 5am on Dec 13 at E 3rd and Commercial Dr.

Spokesperson Const Jana McGuinness said at the time it was a verbal altercation that turned into physical violence.

Asked if homophobic remarks were reported to officers, McGuinness said there was “an indication that some statements were made to the victim by the person who assaulted him.” She declined to elaborate.