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

Surrey criminal’s dangerous offender designation set aside by appeal court

Jatin Patel’s indeterminate sentence was also set aside by the Court of Appeal. A new hearing has been ordered

Jatin Patel has had her dangerous offender designation and indeterminate sentence set aside by the Court of Appeal for British Columbia on a split decision after challenging it in court.

“I will refer to her as female but at the time of the offences, she identified as male,” Justice Anne MacKenzie stated in her March 18 reasons for decision.

A new dangerous offender hearing has been ordered.

A jury on April 1, 2016 found Patel guilty of two counts of sexual interference of a person under age 16 and two counts of sexual assaulting a 13-year-old girl in a Surrey motel room after supplying the child with crystal methamphetamine. The counts of sexual interference were conditionally stayed.

Patel was also found guilty of sexual assault and sexual interference for grabbing or pinching a 13-year-old girl’s bottom while the child was shopping with her mother and brother at a Safeway grocery store in Surrey, and was convicted of manslaughter for the May 2003 slaying of a transgender prostitute in North Vancouver.

The killing happened one day after Patel arrived in Canada following deportation from the United States.

“They went to a motel in North Vancouver where the appellant said she discovered the worker was transgender,” MacKenzie noted. “Upset with this discovery, the appellant killed the worker by striking her throat. She placed the body in a closet and left it there for days.”

The judge noted Patel eventually moved the body to a shopping cart near the motel. Patel, whose life to this point had mostly been spent in jail, received a nine-year prison sentence minus time served.

On March 7, 2018 a judge declared Patel to be a dangerous offender and ordered an indeterminate sentence.

MacKenzie noted that judge found the aggravating circumstances to be “legion.”

“He found it difficult to find a mitigating circumstance.”

READ ALSO: Surrey dangerous offender twice deported to Canada from U.S.

READ ALSO: Man convicted of pinching girl’s bottom in Surrey Safeway loses second appeal

MacKenzie concluded that the judge “was justified in declaring the appellant a dangerous offender and imposing an indeterminate sentence in a penitentiary.

“In my view,” MacKenzie said, it was open to the judge “to conclude, based on the evidence, that no measure other than an indeterminate sentence would adequately protect the public.”

MacKenzie said, “In the result, I would dismiss the appeal.”

But two other appeal court judges, Justice Bruce Butler and Justice Gregory Fitch, decided to allow the appeal, set aside the dangerous offender designation and indeterminate sentence, and ordered a new dangerous offender hearing.

Fitch provided the written reasons why.

“In my view,” Fitch wrote, “the sentencing judge’s apparent reliance on the appellant’s previous conviction for manslaughter and other non-sexual offences in conducting a prospective assessment of the risk that she would likely continue to fail to control her sexual impulses in the future fatally taints his conclusion that she met the criteria for a dangerous offender designation” as set out in Section 753(1)(b) of the Criminal Code.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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

BC Supreme CourtSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP looking for ‘distraction theft’ suspect

Suspect allegedly tried to swipe a man’s necklace while giving him a hug

White Rock brewery turns up the (alcohol by) volume in COVID-19 fight

3 Dogs Brewing is making hand sanitizer for frontline workers, general public

Cloverdale automobile shop offers to pick up, service, and drop off vehicles

Surrey’s Visscher-Pau Automotive starts ‘Blue Glove’ valet service — will cover Cloverdale, Langley, Newton, Fleetwood, and Hazelmere

1,000 food hampers packed for delivery to students of Surrey’s inner-city schools

City Dream Centre-led initiative involved volunteer effort at Horizon Church in Newton

Surrey councillor wants property taxes deferred to December

Linda Annis is expected to present notice of motion to that effect at April 6 “virtual” council meeting

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read