Former president of Surrey Sikh temple dismisses lawyer at sentencing for wife’s death

Baldev Singh Kalsi ordered to return to court Tuesday

A former Surrey temple leader who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the July 2014 death of his wife dismissed his lawyer Thursday afternoon at what was to be his sentencing.

Baldev Singh Kalsi had been scheduled to learn his fate in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, however, before the sentence could be imposed, the court heard he wants to consult new counsel.

“I’m here as a courtesy to the court to advise simply that Mr. Kalsi and I have encountered serious difficulties with the conduct of his case, with the result that I have been dismissed,” defence Peter Wilson told Justice Trevor Armstrong, noting Kalsi wanted get advice from another lawyer prior to being sentenced.

Crown Wendy Stephen argued that the adjournment should not be allowed.

“I simply can’t imagine what it is that Mr. Kalsi could or would consult with another counsel about,” Stephen said.

“He was looking at going to jail today for a very long time. The timing suggests that it is simply a delay tactic.”

Kalsi – former president of the Gurdwara Sahib Brookside temple – was arrested in July 2014, after police found his wife, Narinder, in severe medical distress at a home in the 19400-block of 32 Avenue in South Surrey.

At that time, the incident was described as “domestic-related.”

Kalsi was charged with second-degree murder after Narinder died – she was taken off life support less than a week after the incident – and had been ordered to stand trial following a preliminary inquiry in Surrey Provincial Court two years later.

He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter last November, on what had been scheduled to be the first day of trial.

Thursday, Stephen noted the length of time that has passed since Narinder Kalsi’s death and told the court that “every delay” in the proceedings against Baldev Kalsi to this point – including an earlier change of counsel – “has been at the feet of Mr. Kalsi.”

She said Wilson conducted Kalsi’s defence in a “thorough and incredibly competent fashion,” noted that Kalsi had signed an agreed statement of facts regarding what led to his wife’s death and emphasized that she and Wilson had agreed an appropriate sentence would be 11 years in jail.

The only argument was regarding how much credit Kalsi should receive for time served, she said.

She encouraged the court to ask Kalsi why he was now taking this step.

Armstrong did just that, and Kalsi responded that it was to do with submitting letters of support. He had heard from another lawyer “around 5:30” Wednesday evening, he said.

Outside court, Kalsi said only that “the lawyer, he didn’t explain (it to) me properly.”

Kalsi had asked the court to adjourn the case until after March 21, noting he had an appointment with another lawyer on that date. Stephen noted to the court that the lawyer in question was Kalsi’s original defence lawyer.

Armstrong, noting Crown is “vigorously opposed” to an adjournment, gave Kalsi until Tuesday (March 13) afternoon.

“Endeavour to have someone from (defence counsel’s) office here at 1:30,” Armstrong said.

 

Narinder Kalsi died in July 2014. (File photo)

Baldev Singh Kalsi was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster Thursday. (File photo)

Just Posted

2018 Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair Round-up

Looking back on the community events, rodeo and country fair that took place over May long weekend

VIDEO: Flames destroy abandon Langley home Monday

Fire ripped through a single-storey house in Brookswood on the holiday Monday.

Aldergrove family ecstatic over child’s recovery

Jaylene Prime and her family ‘pays back’ with juvenile arthritis fundraiser

Arrest made in last week’s double shooting in East Van

Carleton Stevens, 37, is charged with attempted murder and remains in custody

Everyone invited to Extreme Home Repair ‘reveal’ in Langley Monday

A block party with bouncy castles and treats begins at the Adam’s home on 32A Avenue at 4:30 p.m.

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

McPhee in boxing spotlight

‘Turmoil on 200th’ Pro Am Boxing event at Langley Events Centre

Fraser Valley Symphony ends 34th season

‘Romantic Rendezvous’ features Michelle Mares on piano on June 2

‘Find Your Fit’ at Aldergrove career event

Students and general community sessions set for Aldergrove Secondary

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

Most Read