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Trial delayed for alleged umbrella gaybasher

Scheduling conflicts mean trial won’t continue until June 2014

Sunjeet Singh Minhas is on trial for one count of assault with a weapon for allegedly splitting open a man's lip with an umbrella. Credit: stockvault.net

The continuation of the trial of alleged gaybasher Sunjeet Singh Minhas has been postponed until next year.

Minhas’s defence applied for and was granted an adjournment Sept 27. The case is now scheduled to continue June 12, 2014, more than a year after it began.

The trial began May 7, 2013, in Vancouver Provincial Court, with three days of testimony from witnesses for the Crown and the defence, and had been slated to continue Oct 16, 2013.

Minhas, 25, is charged with one count of assault with a weapon and one count of uttering threats in connection with an alleged Davie Street gaybashing that took place in the early-morning hours of Oct 9, 2011. Travis James Johnston testified in May that an Indo-Canadian man called him a faggot, then threw an umbrella overhand at his face, splitting open his lip.

Crown spokesperson Neil MacKenzie attributes the lengthy delay to scheduling conflicts.

“The dates next year took into account finding court time available when all of the judge, the prosecutor and the defence council were also available,” he tells Xtra.

MacKenzie says he can’t comment on the specifics of the case but says that if the prosecutor has evidence that the accused was motivated by hatred, it could be considered an aggravating factor in sentencing, if he’s convicted.

“That’s something we can’t say at this point,” he says. “If there is a conviction, the position the Crown takes would be then based on the evidence in the case as a whole.”