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Too soon to say hate crime: Bassi lawyer

Keefer Place hearing delayed again

The Richmond brothers charged in the June 12 assault of a gay couple outside their Keefer Place home will return to court on Sept 13 after an appearance on Aug 9.

Parminder Singh Peter Bassi, 30, charged with two counts of assault causing bodily harm in connection with the incident, was not in court.

Neither was Ravinder Robbie Bassi, 27, who is charged with one count of assault causing bodily harm.

The latter is represented by lawyer David Baker, who had been representing both men but now speaks for only one.

In asking for the month’s adjournment, Baker told Downtown Community Court Judge David Pendleton the new lawyer will need time to look at case details.

Peter Regier and David Holtzman returned home two months ago to find two men drinking on their doorstep. When Holtzman asked one of the men not to urinate near their door, he alleges the men hurled “a barrage” of homophobic slurs at them and then physically attacked them.

The men repeatedly called them “fucking faggots” and “cocksuckers,” Holtzman told Xtra after the incident, in which Regier says they were “attacked and savagely beaten.”

Both were taken to hospital and treated for concussions. Regier needed staples to close his scalp wound.

But, Baker told Xtra, it’s too early for him to start discussing whether or not the case may be a hate crime.

“I haven’t heard the Crown call this a hate crime,” Baker says. “I’ve heard the complainants call it a hate crime. I’ve heard members of their entourage call it a hate crime.”

The couple were in court on Aug 9.

Holtzman says he accepts the court system has steps it needs to follow. “We’ll be coming back on Sept 13,” he promises.

A number of members of the queer community were in court to support the couple, including friend Sharyle Lyndon and Qmunity executive director Jennifer Breakspear.

Also in court was Vancouver city councillor Andrea Reimer, a friend of the couple’s who says she was there to show her support.

She says members of council are watching the case.

“Obviously, it’s a crime that has an impact beyond Peter and David,” Reimer says.

She says more support needs to be shown for the gay community in things such as the Pride parade, where the City of Vancouver had a float. She questions where the rest of the Lower Mainland municipalities were last weekend.

“There’s no Metro Vancouver float,” she says. “Maybe it’s time to talk to our colleagues in Surrey and Delta.”

The Bassi brothers were arrested without incident on June 30 at their Richmond home.

They have been released from jail and must abide by a number of court-imposed conditions.