Man facing dangerous offender hearing loses bid to have case stayed
A Richmond man who is facing a dangerous offender hearing after being convicted in a sexual assault case has lost a bid to have the case thrown out due to delays in sentencing.
On Aug. 15, 2016, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Paul Pearlman found Novid Dadmand guilty of sexually assaulting five women, four of them by deceiving them into believing he was a modelling agent and that they were auditioning for a position as a model.
Two of the victims were unconscious when Dadmand sexually assaulted them, attacks that were captured on video recordings seized by police from the accused.
Following his conviction, the Crown sought to have him declared a dangerous offender and possibly face an indefinite jail sentence. After the Crown had carried out the steps to apply for the dangerous offender designation, a nine-week hearing was set to begin Sept. 25.
But Dadmand’s lawyers said that the delay was unreasonable and applied for a stay of proceedings and an order quashing the convictions.
The Crown responded by arguing that dangerous offender proceedings, in which a court-appointed assessment of the accused must be done and the approval of the attorney general obtained to go ahead, were inherently more complex and lengthy than conventional sentence hearings.
Prosecutors Don Montrichard and Kristin Bryson also argued that any prejudice to Dadmand while he awaited sentencing was outweighed by society’s interest in ensuring an appropriate sentence is handed down.
In a ruling released Friday, the judge noted that a recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling on the issue of trial delay, in which limits were imposed on the time it takes from charges to be laid until a verdict, had declined to consider whether the limits applied to delays in sentencing. He said no binding appellate authority provided guidance.
The judge found the total delay from the verdict to the anticipated date of decision on sentencing to be 16 months, a period that was long enough for him to be required to conduct an inquiry.
He found that although some of the delay was attributable to the Crown, the prosecution had also made efforts to minimize any delays and diligently sought the attorney general’s consent.
Pearlman said that Dadmand, who claimed he’d been assaulted while he was held in a pre-trial facility, had suffered some prejudice through his extended incarceration.
But he also noted that with respect to his fair trial rights, Dadmand’s rights had not been impaired and there was no suggestion that delays in sentencing impaired his ability to call witnesses at the sentencing hearing.
While Dadmand has suffered some prejudice, the prejudice is not substantial, said the judge.
“In any event, the prejudice to Mr. Dadmand is outweighed by society’s interest in ensuring that the court has full and accurate information in order to determine whether or not a sentence of detention in a penitentiary for an indefinite period is warranted in this case,” said Pearlman.
“Weighing all these factors, I conclude that in the circumstances of this case, the delay of 16 months between verdict and the anticipated decision on sentencing is not unreasonable,” the judge added.