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UPDATE: Alleged gaybasher misses court again

Case goes to trial March 29

The youth charged in an alleged gaybashing off Commercial Dr in December 2009 will go on trial March 29 in youth court at Robson Square.
 

The youth, who can’t be named because he was 17 at the time of the alleged offence, originally pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm on May 20, 2010.
 

That changed last fall when the youth fired his lawyer and got a new one. He subsequently changed his plea to not guilty, triggering a trial.
 

The man the youth allegedly attacked needed surgery for a broken jaw. Billy (who gave Xtra his first name only) 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, a designation added at sentencing.

Feb 17, 2011

If the youth charged in the Dec 13, 2009, alleged gaybashing off Commercial Dr, his lawyer or an agent fail to turn up in court on Feb 22, an arrest warrant may be the court’s next step in dealing with the matter.

The youth was due in court for a trial confirmation hearing on Feb 17. Neither he nor anyone representing him showed up.
 

It’s not the first time a warrant for the youth’s arrest has been brought up before the court. Such a suggestion has become a hallmark of the case, where delays and changes of lawyers and pleas are the norm. It’s been four months since Justice of the Peace Judy Norton called the case “very, very old.”
 

Crown prosecutor Bernie Wolfe told the court on Feb 17 he had received a fax from the accused’s lawyer, A Globerman, earlier in the day saying she could not make it to court. Globerman asked through Wolfe if the case could be adjourned to Feb 22, which it was. Wolfe told the court he would hold off on a bench warrant application until then.
 

If no one appears next time, he’ll apply for the warrant, Wolfe told Xtra.
 

The youth, who can’t be named because he was 17 at the time of the alleged offence, pleaded guilty to assault causing bodily harm on May 20, 2010. Sentencing was due to begin on July 6 but was delayed due to inconsistencies in a presentencing report, which contained “very significant” differences between the accused’s version of events and those of the victim and witnesses, the court heard.
 

The case was delayed again on Oct 14 when the court was told the youth had a new lawyer. That hearing began without the youth present and a warrant was issued for his arrest. The youth turned up more than an hour later with his parents and told Norton he could not find the courtroom, despite the fact his name was on a docket outside the door and he had been there several times before. Norton cancelled the warrant.
 

In a subsequent appearance, the court was told the youth wanted to change his plea from guilty to not guilty, thus warranting a trial, the date of which was supposed to be confirmed on Feb 17.
 

The man the youth allegedly attacked needed surgery in 2009 for a broken jaw. 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 if it ever gets to sentencing.