Amarjit Singh Sanghera v. Her Majesty the Queen

(British Columbia) (Criminal) (By Leave)




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Criminal law – Trial – Evidence – Whether Court of Appeal erred in presuming trial judge considered evidence as a whole, despite reasons for judgment that clearly demonstrate an erroneous piecemeal analysis?

On May 9, 2011, Mr. Yadav was beaten and stabbed in a park in Vancouver. At trial, he testified that he was lured to the park by a promise that he would be paid money owed to him but Mr. Sanghera and two other men attacked him. In a statement to the police, he said that he did not see the knife used to stab him nor did he see who stabbed him. At trial, however, he testified that he saw the knife and that he saw Mr. Sanghera stab him. The trial judge rejected Mr. Sanghera’s account of the altercation. She accepted Mr. Yadav’s testimony as it related to the assault as accurate and credible. She considered some of Mr. Sanghera’s testimony in the context of all of the testimony from Mr. Yadav and determined that Mr. Sanghera’s evidence did not nonetheless raise a reasonable doubt. She held that she was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that all three assailants, including Mr. Sanghera, intentionally participated in the assault with a common unlawful purpose. She then turned to Mr. Yadav’s testimony that Mr. Sanghera stabbed him and describing the knife. She rejected this as reconstructed memory. However, based on other testimony from Mr. Yadav that she did accept, she was satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Sanghera was the man who stabbed Mr. Yadav. She convicted Mr. Sanghera of aggravated assault. The Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal.

Lower Court Rulings

September 20, 2013
Provincial Court of British Columbia

Conviction: aggravated assault
July 20, 2015
Court of Appeal for British Columbia (Vancouver)

CA41657, 2015 BCCA 326
Appeal dismissed