An Abbotsford man applied to appeal his conviction on two assault charges, saying that he pleaded guilty because he was mentally confused after missing a dose of his prescribed blood pressure medication.
Jagdev Gill, 43, argued that his guilty pleas should be set aside and a new trial ordered, but a B.C. Supreme Court justice dismissed the appeal last month.
Gill was charged with two counts of assault in 2016.
Court documents indicate that Gill, who was married, was romantically interested in a woman – also married – and aggressively pursued a relationship with her, which she did not reciprocate.
Two days prior to the assaults, the woman called police to report harassing phone calls made to her by Gill. In response, police told him not to contact her any more.
But on the night of Dec. 14, 2016, Gill went to the woman’s home and knocked on the door, which was answered by her father.
The man told Gill that his daughter did not want to speak to him. Gill then pushed the father onto the floor and climbed on top of him.
When the woman entered the room, Gill slapped her across the face.
He then left in a vehicle, and the woman and her father called police and provided statements. Gill was arrested and charged the next morning.
He appeared in Abbotsford provincial court later that day, at which time his lawyer told the judge that Gill wanted to plead guilty to both assault charges.
Gill received a suspended sentence and 18 months’ probation.
He then appealed the decision, arguing that his guilty pleas were not valid because he did not understand the nature of the allegations or the consequences of pleading guilty, due to missing his blood pressure medication.
Gill further asserted that the duty counsel who represented him in court did not listen to his concerns or detect that he was confused.
“Mr. Gill also says that he was pressured into the guilty pleas by duty counsel and by his own desire to be released from custody and to return home to his family where he could resume taking his blood pressure medication,” court documents state.
But during the hearing of the appeal, Gill acknowledged that he had met with the lawyer twice before pleading guilty in court and that he was assisted throughout by a Punjabi interpreter.
Justice Heather Holmes, in considering the appeal, said there was no evidence to support Gill’s claim about being confused due to missing his medication.
“Apart from Mr. Gill’s bare assertion, there is nothing to indicate that Mr. Gill was confused or mentally disoriented in any way, or to indicate that missing a dose of his medication could have caused such a result,” she said.
Holmes also said there was also no proof to back up Gill’s claims that his guilty pleas were involuntary.