Jennifer Saltman (Vancouver Province) – The Crown has decided not to pursue an assault charge against a Surrey RCMP officer accused of hurting a woman during a traffic stop.
Const. Imran Saeed, 31, was charged following the Feb. 12, 2009, incident. The stay was entered Monday in B.C. Provincial Court in Surrey, which was to be the first day of his trial.
It was alleged that Saeed pulled over Trina Westad near her Surrey home and ordered her out of her car. When she asked why, he allegedly pulled her out of her vehicle and slammed her on the ground, causing a variety of injuries.
It’s the second time in a week that charges have been stayed against Saeed.
On June 4, B.C. Provincial Court Judge Roy Dickey stayed two assault charges because Saeed’s right to a timely trial was violated. It was alleged that Saeed assaulted Christopher Gilmore and Christopher Stojak when he responded to a domestic disturbance call on May 19, 2009.
During arguments, defence lawyer Maegan Richards blamed much of the 30-month delay on a second investigation conducted by RCMP shortly before the case was set to go to trial last summer.
The trial was rescheduled for May. Richards said the re-investigation duplicated the work that was initially done before Saeed was charged in November 2009.
Crown prosecutors Wayne Norris said he decided to enter a stay of proceedings based on Dickey’s decision.
“At this point, to force the defence to pursue the second Charter application . . . would be tantamount to abuse of process,” Norris said.
“The Crown is conceding that proceeding to trial would be inappropriate.”
Stojak has filed a lawsuit against Saeed, Surrey RCMP and two other officers. Westad is also suing Saeed, an unnamed officer and the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor-General.
Saeed remains on administrative duties pending an internal RCMP review.