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Gaybashing trial set for Oct

The trial of two Squamish men charged in the alleged bashing of Russell Young on Davie St two years ago, has now been definitively set for Oct 3.

The date was confirmed at a third trial confirmation hearing held Sep 7.

Randeep Cheema and Ravinder Toor, who are accused of assault causing bodily harm, were originally to start trial Sep 26, 2006. However, judicial rescheduling left Young, the key witness, waiting in a fifth floor provincial courtroom unaware that the proceedings had been moved to another courtroom.

Elliot Poll, the assigned Crown prosecutor at the time, asked that the charges against Cheema and Toor be stayed in Young’s absence. The charges were subsequently reinstated following a review of the case.

At a previous hearing held Aug 21, new Crown counsel Alison De Smet informed the court she hadn’t been able to confirm the appearance of two witnesses, including Young, and was granted more time to do so. She returned to court Sep 7 to say the Crown was finally ready to proceed to trial.

Meanwhile, defence counsel Chandra Corriveau entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Toor at the Aug 21 hearing. Cheema, whose attorney Reg Harris was not present at that hearing or the one on Sep 7, has yet to enter a plea.