Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray is appealing his sex assault conviction and nine-month sentence.

Former Lower Mainland councillor appeals sex assault conviction

Judges hear David Murray quest to have his conviction and nine-month sentence overturned

A former Lower Mainland politician, David Murray, was in court on Friday morning to appeal his sex assault conviction.

Murray, a previous Pitt Meadows city councillor, was found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 1992, in a decision by Justice Deirdre Pothecary in Port Coquitlam provincial court in 2017. He received a nine-month sentence.

He is appealing both the conviction and his sentence, and on Friday the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver dealt with the matter of his conviction, with Murray not in attendance.

His lawyer, David Ferguson, argued that Pothecary improperly devalued defence evidence, and Ferguson asked for a new trial. The lawyer said the judge shifted the burden of proof in the case, and held Murray’s evidence to a higher standard than Crown evidence. He also said Crown provided no accurate timeline.

Prosecutor Mary Brown said Pothecary gave equal weight to Murray and the victim’s evidence in her reasons for judgement, with 25 paragraphs on each in the written ruling. She told the court the record does not show an imbalanced scrutiny of evidence.

The appeal was heard by Justices Nicole Garson, Gregory Fitch and Patrice Abrioux. They asked for more written submissions from Murray’s lawyer and Crown, to be received in November.

Murray is on bail until a decision is rendered.

Murray, secretary-treasurer of the CUPE Fraser Valley District Labour Council, was originally charged in November 2016 with sexual assault and sexual interference of a person under the age of 14. But Crown counsel asked for the second charge to be stayed, citing an inability to confirm whether the complainant was 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged attack.

Murray remained on Pitt Meadows council and attended regular meetings throughout the investigation and trial. Following the conviction in October 2017, he resigned effective the following January.

The council has been lobbying the provincial government to introduce legislation that would compel a municipal politician convicted of a serious crime to resign.

Last September, the Union of B.C. Municipalities backed a resolution on the topic from Pitt Meadows council. Minister of Municipal Affairs Selina Robinson has said she will work on creating new legislation with the organization.


 

@NeilCorbett18
ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Candlelight Parade lights up downtown Mission

Thousands of people come out to enjoy holiday tradition

It’s a Wonderful Breakfast fundraiser comes to Mission

The event, on Dec. 12, is hosted by the Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

SUV on fire on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack

Emergency crews on scene and blocking the right lane

VIDEO: Abbotsford donair restaurant catches fire

Donairo’s on McCallum Street site of kitchen fire

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Strong turnout of volunteers to search for missing senior

Ted Vanderveen disappeared in rural Maple Ridge on Nov. 28

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

SkyTrain strike to begin Tuesday with ‘full shutdown’, CUPE says

BCRTC president says job action is ‘completely unacceptable’ to use SkyTrain users ‘as leverage’

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

Owners of hotels on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside fight $1 expropriation in court

Vancouver City Council voted to expropriate the properties for $1 each in November

Most Read