Surrey Pretrial Services Centre. Undated Google maps image

B.C. man charged with repeat kidnapping dies while in custody

Trial was due to begin this month, family of victim said

A Langley man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting the same woman two times in the span of a week has died in jail just weeks before he was scheduled to stand trial.

Multiple sources have confirmed that the death of 42-year-old William John Bassett Jr. occurred near the end of March while he was being held at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre, a high-security remand centre that manages offenders who the court has ordered to remain in custody pending trial.

In response to a Times query, the BC Coroners Service said it was investigating the death of a “male in his early 40s” at the Surrey Pretrial Services Centre in March but could not name him because of the Coroners Act and provincial privacy legislation.

The cause of death was not disclosed.

The family of the victim said they were notified by police that the trial, expected to get underway this month (May), would not be proceeding because of Bassett’s death.

The family said they had been advised the trial would take at least a week of court time because of the number of witnesses and amount of evidence.

Bassett, a resident of the Brookswood area of Langley Township, was charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count each of kidnapping and unlawful confinement in connection with the May 2014 incidents.

The first charges were laid after Langley RCMP officers responded to a sexual assault where the victim had been confined overnight.

She was able to escape her captor and contact police.

Bassett was arrested at the time, charged, and released with conditions to have no contact with the victim.

A week later the same woman was reported missing to police.

Langley RCMP located her two days later, showing obvious signs of a beating, and saying she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted a second time.

She told police a number of people had taken part in the kidnapping itself as well as the confinement.

Three others were also charged in connection with the second kidnapping and sexual assault.

Court records suggest at least one of the three has since pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful confinement.

Court documents show Bassett, who graduated from a Langley high school, had a lengthy criminal history that included a previous conviction for forcible confinement.

On April 9, 1991, in Youth Court at Surrey, Bassett was convicted of assault causing bodily harm and sentenced to 35 days open custody and probation for 12 months.

On March 1, 1993, in Youth Court at Surrey, B.C., he was convicted of possession of stolen property over $1,000 and sentenced to pay restitution of $1,170.31 and to probation for 12 months.

On Nov. 2, 1995, he was convicted of possession of a narcotic and sentenced to pay a fine of $100.

On June 13, 1997, he was convicted of assault causing bodily harm, the passing of sentence was suspended and he was placed on probation for one year.

On Nov. 25, 2005, in Red Deer, Alberta, he was convicted of four offences and sentenced to seven months for forcible confinement, uttering threats, obstructing a police officer, and failing to comply with recognizance.

During a previous provincial court appearance, the court heard Bassett was on a disability pension after being diagnosed with a serious heart condition in 2006.

“His condition will require surgery, but that cannot be done until he is cured of the hepatitis C disease, which he apparently contracted while in custody,” the judge noted.



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man, 24, charged with nine sexual offences in Abbotsford and Mission

Alleged victim, who he met online, is under the age of 16

Mission filmmaker tackles topic of youth and the social media epidemic

Kim Laureen teams up with her daughter to create documentary film Selfless

Mission to take a closer look at clothing donation bins

Recent deaths around the country have caused some communities to ban the bins for safety concerns

Live demos and stunt shows part of Vancouver Motorcycle Show

Annual event returns to Tradex in Abbotsford from Jan. 18 to 20

Manure company causing ‘toxic’ stink at Abbotsford school seeks permit

Property across from King Traditional Elementary cannot operate manure facility without permit

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

Most Read