B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Sentence reduced for Surrey killer with mental illness

Sukhvir Singh Badhesa killed his mother and beat his wife in their Whalley home

A Surrey man who beat his 61-year-old mother to death and assaulted his wife while heavily intoxicated and in severe psychotic depression has had his prison sentence reduced by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

Sukhvir Singh Badhesa, 39, had been sentenced to 1o years in jail for manslaughter and 18 months for assault causing bodily harm, consecutive but on appeal the court reduced those to seven years and one year, respectively, also consecutive.

Badhesa had originally been charged with second-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge. On appeal his lawyer argued that the trial judge had failed to sufficiently consider Badhesa’s “depressive mental illness” in assessing his moral blameworthiness.

“The appellant contends the judge imposed an unfit sentence because he gave too little weight to the appellant’s mental illness and overemphasized deterrence,” Justices Lauri Ann Fenlon and Gail Dickson noted in their reasons for judgment, posted Feb. 26.

“Taking into account the nature of the offences and the circumstances of this offender, in our view fit sentences are seven years imprisonment for the offence of manslaughter and one year’s imprisonment for the offence of assault causing bodily harm.”

As it was before, these are to be served consecutively. Justice Richard Goepel concurred.

Both crimes happened on the same evening, in Surrey. The court heard Badhesa had no prior history of violence.

“By all accounts, he deeply loved his family members, centred his life around them, supported them, and managed domestic disagreements in an entirely peaceful way,” the judges wrote. “According to his wife, he is a kind-hearted person who cherished his mother and never had angry outbursts, under the influence of alcohol or otherwise. Nor was he jealous, suspicious or accusatory. However, he did have a history of serious depression.”

READ ALSO: Man seeks bail after confession motivated to kill common-law wife: B.C. Crown

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

READ ALSO: Judge says Surrey drug dealer was ready for ‘gun warfare’

Badhesa had been drinking heavily for four days leading up to the March 20, 2016 killing and assault, drinking vodka, scotch and beer. The court also heard he’d been smoking opium.

He became angry with his 35-year-old wife, accusing her of cheating, and accused his mother, who lived with them in Whalley, of arranging to marry his brother “into a bad family,” an arrangement which he believed led to his brother’s “difficulties” and eventual death in June 2015.

The court heard Badhesa punched a hole in a wall, and broke drinking glasses. His wife, mother and two daughters aged seven and one ran to another part of the house and he followed, whipping her with a USB cord and hitting her with a shoe, all in front of the eldest daughter. When his mother tried to stop him, he followed her into a bedroom and attacked her with his fists and feet. She died of blunt force trauma to her head and body.

Badhesa then beat his wife some more. The judges noted that she and their daughters ran downstairs to a basement suite rented by another family, who called police who arrived in 10 minutes to find Badhesa banging on the door of the suite. The police tasered him. The court heard that as he was being transported to the jail cells, the court heard, Badhesa went from being sad and crying to yelling and upset and happy and talkative.

“The appellant has little or no memory of the day in question.”

The Crown sought a sentence of 13 years for both crimes combined, while the defence argued for four years, which is a federal sentence, that would essentially be provincial time of two years less a day after Badhesa got credit for time served. The 11.5 year sentence imposed actually worked out to eight years and nine months, taking into account the pre-sentence custody.

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Rakesh Lamba testified that Badhesa was “largely amnesiac” of the crimes and at times experienced nihilistic delusions, auditory hallucinations and “perceptual disturbances.”

The appeal court judges noted that specific deterrence does not play a significant role in determining a fit sentence for an offender who is “out of touch with reality.”

Badhesa, they found, suffered from a “diagnosed mental disorder that interfered with his ability to reason, compromised his volitional and decision-making capacity and contributed to his state of self-induced intoxication, which attenuated the degree of his moral culpability.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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

Just Posted

Powder Blues are coming to Mission in June

The group will be ‘Doin’ It Right’ at the Clarke Theatre

Man pleads guilty to Surrey crash that killed two Abbotsford women

Sarah Dhillon and Paige Nagata died following head-on collision on Nov. 4, 2018

Man arrested after police standoff and fire at Abbotsford home

Suspect allegedly breached conditions to not be near victim or her home

PHOTOS: Jungle Book characters come to life in Mission

Students from Creative Edge School of Arts also performed Fiddler on the Roof

Talking about diversity in Mission

Eighth annual Cycling4Diversity ride takes place Friday, ending at Mission City Hall

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Fraser Valley chef sentenced to seven years for million-dollar drug operation

Raymon Ranu has been working as a cook since he was arrested for selling fentanyl and cocaine

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

Most Read