Man convicted of molesting his niece in Surrey, Harrison Hot Springs, to get a new trial

The two-to-one split Court of Appeal decision was rendered on Tuesday

A new trial has been ordered for a man accused of sexually molesting his niece in Surrey and Harrison Hot Springs.

The Court of Appeal’s two-to-one split decision was rendered on Tuesday in Vancouver.

That man, whose name is subject to a publication ban to protect the alleged victim’s identity from being revealed, was convicted by a jury of sexual assault and sexual interference following a six-day trial in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

The crimes allegedly occurred between 2006 and 2011. The victim alleged her uncle sexually touched her at her grandmother’s apartment when she was in Grade 5 and during a family camping trip when she was in Grade 6. She told her mom about it when she was in Grade 9.

He appealed his convictions, in the Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver, claiming the trial judge failed to provide the jury with sufficient instructions concerning credibility and also failed to adequately answer a question from the jury.

READ ALSO: Judge acquits accused Surrey drug dealer, finding arrest was ‘unlawful’

READ ALSO: Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’s relative

Justice John Savage would have dismissed the appeal. He noted that while the accused submitted the judge provided the jury with insufficient instruction on credibility, “he does not argue that anything anyone said to the jury at any point was wrong.”

“The judge gave clear, complete instructions on credibility in his initial charge, and given this initial charge, I do not think the jury could have been left with an erroneous view of the law,” Savage wrote in his dissenting reasons for judgment.

“The jury was given ample instruction on assessing credibility and the burden and standard of proof,” he found.

Justice Nicole Garson disagreed with Savage’s conclusion “for three main reasons,” and Justice David Harris concurred with Garson. “I would allow the appeal and order a new trial,” she said.

“First, the judge’s charge to the jury was confusing in the context of the manner in which the indictment was drawn. The judge failed to adequately explain to the jury that the indictment charged two offences which covered a period of time during which two separate incidents were alleged to have occurred,” Garson reasoned.

“Second, when the jury returned with a question that appears to have arisen from confusion about the two offences and two incidents, the judge engaged in a confusing colloquy with the foreperson and did not clearly answer the question,” she further explained. “Third, the jury question raised the issue of whether the jury could reject the complainant’s evidence about one of the incidents, but accept her evidence about the other. The possibility that the jury was rejecting a significant part of the complainant’s evidence should have led the judge to provide further instructions on credibility.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

Life rings, signs to improve safety on Harrison waterfront

Harrison council approved $125,000 in aquatic safety projects for the beach

PHOTOS: Harrison students take on the Bunny Run

Harrison Hot Springs Elementary students dressed up for the Easter event

No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

The approval of an updated business licence bylaw means Nolan Irwin is without a cart

Chilliwack PEO: ‘We who are sisters’

International oganization celebrating 150 years of service

Chilliwack students take the lead as mental health advocates

About 100 Chilliwack youth prepped to make a difference during Mental Health Week

VIDEO: Agassiz, Harrison celebrate National Pet Day

From cats and dogs to lizards and chickens, residents showed off the animals that enrich their lives

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Crews battle Burnaby blaze; 2 people sent to hospital

Emergency Support Services helping residents displaced by fire

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Most Read