Man who used racial slur in Vancouver nightclub loses appeal

Published: December 20, 2013

Statue of Justice at the new Law Courts Building in downtown Vancouver. PNG

KEITH FRASER
VANCOUVER DESI

A man who uttered a racial slur in a crowded Vancouver nightclub before hitting another man over the head with a beer bottle has lost his appeal of a conviction for aggravated assault.

Kyle James Stalker was sentenced to two years less a day in prison after he assaulted Jason Bedi on the dance floor of the club on February 8, 2009.

Bedi suffered a large laceration down the left side of his face and a smaller one behind his left ear.

A jury heard that prior to the assault, Bedi had asked Stalker to dance. Stalker, one of only a few Caucasians in the club, admitted at trial that he said, ‘I don’t dance with brown guys” in a fairly loud voice but denied he was trying to insult Bedi and claimed he was acting in self-defence after someone assaulted him from behind.

But on sentencing the trial judge said she did not accept Stalker’s version of events, concluding that an aggravating factor was that he was motivated by prejudice to Indo-Canadians.

On appeal, Stalker said the trial judge had erred in instructing the jury on the issue of self-defence, alleging the judge had focussed the jury on his fear of harm from Bedi alone, rather than his fear of harm from Bedi and others in the club.

But in a ruling released Friday, B.C. Court of Appeal Justice Mary Saunders dismissed that argument.

“In my view, there is no air of reality to support a reasonable apprehension of harm from any group of patrons of the nightclub,” said Saunders in a 19-page ruling.

Justices Edward Chiasson and David Frankel agreed with Saunders’ ruling.

kfraser@theprovince.com
twitter.com/keithrfraser

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