Gursimar Bedi handed jail time in Maple Batalia slaying
Published Friday, January 27, 2017 12:20PM PST
Last Updated Friday, January 27, 2017 6:07PM PST
The man found guilty of being an accessory in the murder of SFU student Maple Batalia's murder has been handed jail time.
On Friday, Gursimar Bedi was sentenced to 22 months behind bars, but will serve 18 months after time already served.
Batalia’s parents are distraught over the sentencing. Speaking outside the New Wesminster court house minutes after Justice Terence Schultes delivered the sentence, Harry Batalia told reporters "We lost our angel and she's not going to come back. We might have been a little happier if this judgement [had been longer]."
His wife, Sarbjit, insisted emotionally that it’s time for judicial reform.
“I appeal to all people, you have to change the justice system."
Bedi was originally charged with manslaughter but found guilty of the lesser charge of accessory after the fact for his role in the aspiring actress and model's death.
A friend of Batalia's ex-boyfriend, Gurjinder "Gary" Dhailawl, Bedi rented the Dodge Charger that was used as a getaway vehicle after the 19-year-old was killed.
Dhaliwal pleaded guilty to second-degree murder last year and was sentenced to 21 years in jail without parole.
He admitted killing Batalia in the parking lot of the Surrey SFU campus after seeing her study with a male classmate in September 2011.
Batalia was shot three times in the back and slashed in the head with a knife after Dhaliwal became enraged, according to an agreed statement of fact submitted to the court.
Crown lawyers said he was a "jealous ex-boyfriend" who became distraught and violent after being broken up with.
He sent her thousands of text messages, and confronted her twice in the days leading up to her murder.
That’s the kind of possessive behaviour denounced by family friend and community activist, Barinder Rasode, who says the Indo-Canadian community needs to change attitudes amongst troublesome young men and their enablers.
"I think it's about changing cultural norms and it's about families and the examples that they set. I think with a lot of the violence we're seeing, whether it's violence against women or even some of the gang violence just the enablement and different set of rules for men is something that we need to start talking about and it's something all of us have tiptoed around."
Court heard that since Batalia’s murder, Bedi had given up his drug-dealing lifestyle and joined an apprenticeship program as an electrician. His lawyers had argued that since he’d turned his life around, he deserved a conditional sentence.
While Justice Schultes acknowledged the progress Bedi had made and believed an apology to Batalia’s family after the trial seemed genuine, he wanted to send a message that “this is exactly the type of offence that needs to be condemned” and that could only come with jail time.
MORE: Maple Batalia's parents very emotional and upset the sentence isn't longer. They're calling for judicial reform. @CTVVancouver— Penny Daflos (@PennyDaflos) January 27, 2017