THE Crown wants a four-year prison sentence for Aneil Sanghera, 31, who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his distant cousin Pardeep (Terry) Dulay, 41, at an April 2017 wedding reception in Vancouver’s Fraserview Hall.
Crown counsel Jeremy Hermanson told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Margot Fleming how Sanghera and Dulay fought on the balcony of the hall. Part of the fight was captured on surveillance video. What led to Dulay shoving Sanghera with his hands is still not clear, but it resulted in a violent fight, Hermanson said.
He said Dulay is seen trying to leave the balcony, but Sanghera charges him and the fight continues.
Dulay put Sanghera in a headlock at one point, but finally Sanghera ended up on top of Dulay and kept punching him. Hermanson said this was when the fight turned from a consensual one and Sanghera was then fighting out of anger, not fear, CBC reported.
Sanghera got up and kicked an unresponsive Dulay several times before leaving the wedding. Dulay remained on the floor for 25 minutes before anyone noticed him.
Hermanson told the court that although Dulay’s death was not intentional, Sanghera’s assault was.
Members of Dulay’s family told the court of how his death had impacted them. His mother, Kalbir said she can still sometimes hear her son calling to her when she is alone. She said her family helped the Sangheras get jobs at her late husband’s company. “In return, you killed my son,” she added.
Dulay’s sisters recalled how their brother struggled with drug addiction and how proud they felt as he worked through it. They called him kind and soft.
Defence lawyer Joven Narwal told the court that there was a murder attempt against Sanghera on May 4, 2018, when a masked man who broke into his father-in-law’s home, where he was staying, called out his name. The man ended up shooting his father-in-law and a friend, but both survived.
Narwal said Delta Police confirmed that the attack was a result of the death at Fraserview Hall. He told the court that the incident led to Sanghera’s diagnosis of PTSD. And argued that all this should be considered when he is sentenced. He said that there is “an active threat to his life.”
Narwal also pointed out that the fight was a contributing factor to the death and not the cause, which was cardiac arrest.
He argued that it was not unreasonable to believe that Sanghera didn’t realize that his actions would lead to death.
The defence suggests a sentence of one year with Sanghera serving his sentence in a provincial facility that would allow him to work with his therapist and stay close to his family.
Sanghera told the three daughters and the estranged wife of Dulay in court that he was sorry and told the rest of the family: “I will never forgive myself and I don’t expect you to forgive me.” He also told Dulay’s family: “I will spend my lifetime trying to do right by you and being a better man,” CBC reported.
The judge is expected to deliver a sentence in the week of September 14.