Racist signs directed at neighbours who cut down trees cost Coquitlam couple $35,000

Published: November 22, 2013

KEITH FRASER
VANCOUVER DESI

Offensive protest signs and racist comments made during a battle between neighbours over three trees that were pruned and then had to be cut down has resulted in a Coquitlam couple being ordered to pay $35,000 in damages.

The dispute between the Demenuks and Dhadwals began when the Dhadwals, while building a new home, pruned and cut the roots of three large trees on the property boundary.

The Dhadwals had complied with municipal bylaws but the cutting of the roots endangered the trees and the two Douglas firs and the cedar tree were eventually ordered to be cut down.

The Demenuks sued the Dhadwals to recover for the loss of the trees and the Dhadwals filed a counter claim, alleging they had been defamed by the protest signs and had suffered aggravated damages arising in part from the racist comments.

In a ruling posted online Friday, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Peter Voith dismissed the claims of the plaintiff Demenuks, concluding that the Dhadwals had complied with the bylaws.

But he found that Ronald Demenuk and his partner Robyn had defamed the Dhadwals by putting up the offensive signs in an alley by their home.

The signs were either carried by or stenciled onto the clothing of a number of animals figures including a monkey, an elephant and a lion.

Messages on them included “This is Canada!! Not India Respect It!!”

Other signs said “Butchers. 3old Growth Trees. Totally ignorant,” and “Low Lifes.”

On the day the trees were cut, Robyn called the Dhadwals “f…… Hindus.”

At trial, the Demenuks maintained that they did not know the Dhadwals were East Indian and argued they might have been from Sri Lanka, but the judge said that evidence was nonsense.

“There is little reason for a court to have confidence in the evidence of individuals whose testimony is so patently disingenous.”

Voith ordered the Demenuks to pay $25,000 for defamation and another $10,000 for aggravated damages, for a total award of $35,000.

Alnoor Gangji, a lawyer for the Dhadwals, said his clients were satisfied with the ruling and have “tremendous respect” for the system.

“They’ve basically said that they’re happy with the result. They think that everything that needed to be said is in the judgment.”

He said the couple, who are still neighbours with the Demenuks, also wished to thank a number of “very decent” people who showed up in court to testify in the case, incuding an RCMP officer who he said was the subject of an unwarranted complaint.

“They fought this because the signs were alleging they didn’t respect Canadian law. That’s why they took the case to court, to show that they do respect Canadian law.”

Robyn Demenuk, also known as Robyn Soames according to the ruling, declined to comment when reached by phone Friday.

Related:

kfraser@theprovince.com

twitter.com/keithrfraser


Tags: , , , , ,





Featured

Nepal earthquake

Almost 1400 killed in deadly Nepal earthquake that shook Everest

BINAJ GURUBACHARYA And MUNEEZA NAQVI THE ASSOCIATED PRESS KATHMANDU, Nepal — Tens of thousands of people were spending the night in the open under a…
Continue Reading »

Surrey Six

Forum at Surrey gurdwara to address recent shootings and drugs-related violence

‘The gurdwara feels responsible to pro-actively engage with the public in stopping this senseless violence’ SURREY NOW SURREY — Eileen Mohan, the mother of “Surrey…
Continue Reading »

police-Newton-desi-Vancouver-BC

Surrey NDP MPs Jinny Sims and Jasbir Sandhu call on Tories to help stop shootings

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW SURREY — Surrey’s NDP MPs are calling on the federal Conservative government to do something to help stop a flurry of…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Urban search and rescue troops and medics prepare to deploy to devastated Nepal

By Murray Brewster THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — The Harper government stepped up its response to earthquake-ravaged Nepal on Sunday by dispatching advance elements of…
Continue Reading »

Urban search and rescue troops and medics prepare to deploy to devastated Nepal

By Murray Brewster THE CANADIAN PRESS OTTAWA — The Harper government stepped up its response to earthquake-ravaged Nepal on Sunday by dispatching advance elements of…
Continue Reading »

Chaos at Nepal airport, says Montreal woman stranded by massive earthquake

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO — A Montreal woman stranded in Nepal by Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake says there’s chaos at the airport as foreigners try…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Hollywood-Bollywood

Harold & Kumar actor Kal Penn stars in film being shot in B.C.

MICHAEL D. REID TIMES COLONIST Kal Penn is coming to town to star in The Girl in the Photographs, a horror feature that began shooting…
Continue Reading »

PARENTS-VIOLENCE

Video shows a mom beating school staff after her daughter was stopped from carrying cellphone

  HINDUSTAN TIMES A woman allegedly beat up the director of a school in Jalandhar after her daughter was stopped from carrying a mobile phone…
Continue Reading »

fetish-desi sex-school girl-viral video

Video shows a young girl being brutally beaten with a stick, kicked by her father

VANCOUVER DESI A viral video of a father brutally beating up a young girl will make you shiver with anger and disgust, and want to…
Continue Reading »

gang life prevention

End Gang Life: Problems surrounding gun violence run deeper than skin colour or culture

SGT. LINDSEY HOUGHTON SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI Kids are shooting at each other.  The violence these children are engaged in with each other has now…
Continue Reading »

desi sex-video-lust-bollywood

Video shows how a woman reacted when a pervert kept staring at her breasts

VANCOUVER DESI In a conservative country like India, where women’s rights are suppressed way too often, what do you do when a lecherous man won’t…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Desi-sex-boobs-india-porn-bollywood

Indo-Canadian actress Sunny Leone: People write all sort of crazy stories about me

HINDUSTAN TIMES Actor Sunny Leone, recently hit headlines when she was quoted as saying that she doesn’t like being compared to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The…
Continue Reading »

Deepika Padukone

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone not interested in donning producer’s hat

HINDUSTAN TIMES While many of her contemporaries like Anushka Sharma and Ranbir Kapoor have entered the realm of film production, actor Deepika Padukone says that…
Continue Reading »

Kangana Ranaut

Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut “had to learn triple jump for Tanu Weds Manu Returns”

HINDUSTAN TIMES We have seen actor Kangana Ranaut play a Delhi girl many times. Be it the flamboyant Tanu in Tanu weds Manu (2011) or…
Continue Reading »