Two young offenders were convicted of manslaughter Friday in the beating death of two elderly men, prompting distraught relatives to lash out at the justice system for throwing out a second-degree murder charge.
The two young offenders were convicted on the lesser charge of manslaughter, in addition to aggravated assault and robbery in the 2005 beating deaths of Mewa Singh Bains and Shingara Singh Thandi.
Justice William Grist said he could not convict the teens of the murder charge because there was no direct evidence that they intended to kill when they clubbed Bains, 82, and Thandi, 76, with a baseball bat in the washroom of Surrey's Bear Creek Park in July 2005.
The teens, who as young offenders may not be named, attacked Bains on July 18, 2005, and robbed him of $150. He died later in hospital while undergoing surgery. Thandi was targeted the following day and struck three times in the head with a wooden baseball bat. He suffered a heart attack in hospital that Grist ruled was a direct result of the trauma.
Grist convicted both teens of the robbery and assault counts for their attack on Bains and the manslaughter count for the brutal assault on Thandi....
Crown prosecutor Kris Pechet said the younger of the two can get a maximum of three years; two in jail and the third in the community. The older of the pair, who were ordered to face a sentencing hearing Nov. 23, will be sentenced as an adult, unless his lawyer successfully argues he should be sentenced as as a young offender. The teens have been in custody since their arrest in July 2005, meaning they would normally qualify for double-time credit against their sentence. [Link]
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