Kehar Garry Sangha has pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a weapon and forcible confinement.
Sangha, 55, who appeared in a Duncan courtroom on Monday, was sentenced to 5.25 years in prison and two years probation as a result of an incident that occurred in April of 2017.
He has already spent almost three years in custody in the case, and that will be considered as time served against his sentence.
“I’m very ashamed of my behaviour,” said Sangha, dressed in red prison colours, when Judge Roger Cutler asked if he wanted to address the court.
“It’s out of character for me and it has done damage to my children. I’m really sorry. Thank you for your time.”
Crown prosecutors and the defence made a joint submission to the judge Monday that Sangha has agreed to plead guilty to the two charges, negating the need for a trial.
The case against Sangha stems from an incident in which a woman was confined on his farm and seriously injured, until she managed to escape.
The woman in the case suffered partial permanent loss of her sight, and partial loss of use in one arm, along with psychological trauma.
In the joint submission, Crown prosecutor Steve Richards said Sangha owned a farm on Stamps Road and the victim rented a suite on the farm from him at the time.
Richards said Sangha’s home on the property was broken into on April 7, 2017, and $2,000 in cash, a gold chain and a quantity of cocaine and heroin were stolen.
He said Sangha believed that the victim was involved in the theft and accused her when she went to his residence to pay rent that she had owed.
“Sangha then struck her in the face and head with his fists and a baseball bat and, during the course of these actions, bound her wrists and ankles with belts and wire, and then tied her to an office chair,” Richards said.
“He also placed handcuffs on her that were part of a costume he had.”
Some time after that, the victim managed to escape from the chair and ran into an adjacent field before Sangha chased her down in his pick-up truck, cut her off and yelled at her to get back into the truck before taking her back to his farm.
Richards said two contractors working on a neighbouring property saw Sangha chasing the victim across the field, but couldn’t identify them or where they had gone.
He said the victim was confined again upon returning to Sangha’s residence.
Some time after that, Sangha attempted to remove the handcuffs from the victim’s wrists, but was unable to unlock one of them from one hand.
Richards said Sangha then released the victim to return to her suite to clean herself up, and after taking a shower and changing, she fled to a neighbour’s house where two different contractors were working and asked them if they could take her to her mother’s house in the Cowichan Valley.
“She was badly beaten and traumatized and didn’t want the police or an ambulance to be called, and at first refused to identify her attacker,” Richards said.
“The contractors put her in their van and called the police. Some time later, Sangha discovered the victim had left his property from a Facebook page.”
Sangha was arrested soon after in his pick-up truck after leaving his property, and his property and truck were throughly searched for evidence.
He has been in custody since his arrest.
Richards said the victim had a fractured cheekbone, extensive bruising to her face, lacerations and bruising to her arms and legs and blisters on her wrists from the assault.
“She was in hospital from April 11 to April 28, 2017, where she had a plate put in her face, and she has suffered a partial loss of senses in one hand, and loss of partial sight in one eye.”
Richards said while initial reports indicated that the victim had been forcibly confined for up to three days, the time she was bound was actually some time within a 24-hour period between noon on April 11 and noon on April 12.
“The victim was using heroin at the time and Mr. Sangha was using cocaine, so we considered both recollections of the timeline as unreliable,” he said.
Defence lawyer Rory Morahan pointed out that Sangha was a successful farmer and businessman for several years before the incident, but was beset with a series of personal tragedies, including the loss of his wife and mother, that contributed to his drug and alcohol problems.
He said that Sangha, who is also a past president of a Kinsmen Club, was also a kidnap victim himself at one point, and was forced to drive to a bank machine with his kidnappers so he could get money to pay for his release.
“I’m not saying that [Sangha’s actions in 2017] were not serious offences, but he has no criminal record before this, was a contributing member of society and is truly engaged in the rehabilitation processes [while incarcerated],” Morahan said.
In his ruling, Judge Cutler said the incident was “most disturbing”.
“I find it unsettling and upsetting, and is the consequence of addictions to illicit narcotics,” he said.
“But [Sangha] has been making efforts to rehabilitate himself, and I accept that he is remorseful for his actions.”
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