Murdered Langley man’s family fear day parole could delay deportation of his killer

JENNIFER SALTMAN 

Jagrup Singh Baidwan at Delta Courthouse in 2002. Artist sketch by Felicity Don. Province staff photo by David Clark

VANCOUVER DESI

For the past 10 years, Rick Lof’s family has felt secure in the knowledge that his killer is behind bars and slated to be deported if he is ever paroled.

Now they fear that if Jagrup Singh, 38, is granted day parole at a hearing scheduled for Thursday, he will be caught in legal limbo instead of being put on a plane to India right away.

“It’s obviously affected all of our lives tremendously,” Jim Lof said of his older brother’s death. “You just try and cope as best you can, and now we’re dealing with this.”

On the evening of April 5, 2002, Singh and two friends got into an argument with staff at Delanie’s Exotic Show Pub in Surrey and were thrown out of the pub. Outside, Singh pulled out a gun and fired several shots into the crowd at the front of the pub.

Rick Lof, a charismatic 30-year-old who was training as a professional kite surfer and split his time between Maui and Langley, was at the pub to celebrate the 19th birthday of a friend’s cousin. One of the bullets Singh fired hit him in the head as he stood near the entrance to the pub.

Singh and his friends fled, but he was charged less than a week later.

Singh was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced in December 2003 to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 13 years.

At the time of the murder, Singh, originally from India, was classified as a permanent resident of Canada, and a deportation order was issued following his sentence.

He became eligible for day parole and unescorted temporary absences in April 2012, but Thursday will be Singh’s first parole hearing. According to the Parole Board of Canada, Singh can be removed from the country as soon as he is released to the community.

“Ultimately it doesn’t matter what happens or what he does,” Jim said. “Nothing’s going to bring Rick back. I just need the law to be exercised.”

If day parole is granted, Canada Border Services Agency will be notified immediately. Singh will be taken into CBSA custody and held for up to 48 hours, during which time he will be seen by an adjudicator from the Immigration and Refugee Board.

The adjudicator will determine whether Singh should be held in custody or released on day parole pending production of acceptance papers from India. Once the papers have been received, he will be removed from Canada.

Rick’s family has had a difficult time getting information about Singh’s immigration status.

However, Jim said he has learned that there have been challenges getting documents from India for Singh. He fears that Singh will be released on day parole, allowed to remain in Canada and lost in the shuffle unless those documents are in hand.

“Why aren’t they ready to go? Why is this an issue now?” Jim asked. “This is so bizarre how all this is coming up now, at the very end of this.”

If day parole is not granted, Singh will continue serving his life sentence. He would be allowed to apply for day parole again in one year. He is eligible for full parole in April 2015.
Jim said his family has flown under the radar for the past decade, but he felt the need to speak up and let people know that the process for deporting convicted criminals is not as streamlined as it should be.

“I’d rather not have to deal with this, and know that it’s being taken care of, but I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and let a technicality happen,” he said.

“These are my brother’s rights. We have to stand up for those rights because he’s not able.”

jensaltman@theprovince.com
twitter.com/jensaltman

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