Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray is appealing his sex assault conviction and nine-month sentence.

Former Pitt Meadows councillor appeals sex assault conviction

Panel of judges hear David Murray quest to have his conviction and nine-month sentence overturned

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was in court on Friday morning to appeal his sex assault conviction.

Murray was found guilty of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in 1992, in a decision by Justice Deirdre Pothecary in Port Coquitlam provincial court in 2017. He received a nine-month sentence.

He is appealing both the conviction and his sentence, and on Friday the B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver dealt with the matter of his conviction, with Murray not in attendance.

His lawyer, David Ferguson, argued that Pothecary improperly devalued defence evidence, and Ferguson asked for a new trial. The lawyer said the judge shifted the burden of proof in the case, and held Murray’s evidence to a higher standard than Crown evidence. He also said Crown provided no accurate timeline.

Prosecutor Mary Brown said Pothecary gave equal weight to Murray and the victim’s evidence in her reasons for judgement, with 25 paragraphs on each in the written ruling. She told the court the record does not show an imbalanced scrutiny of evidence.

The appeal was heard by Justices Nicole Garson, Gregory Fitch and Patrice Abrioux. They asked for more written submissions from Murray’s lawyer and Crown, to be received in November.

Murray is on bail until a decision is rendered.

Murray, secretary-treasurer of the CUPE Fraser Valley District Labour Council, was originally charged in November 2016 with sexual assault and sexual interference of a person under the age of 14. But Crown counsel asked for the second charge to be stayed, citing an inability to confirm whether the complainant was 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged attack.

Murray remained on Pitt Meadows council and attended regular meetings throughout the investigation and trial. Following the conviction in October 2017, he resigned effective the following January.

The council has been lobbying the provincial government to introduce legislation that would compel a municipal politician convicted of a serious crime to resign.

Last September, the Union of B.C. Municipalities backed a resolution on the topic from Pitt Meadows council. Minister of Municipal Affairs Selina Robinson has said she will work on creating new legislation with the organization.


 

@NeilCorbett18
ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Maple Ridge woman takes home hardware at Women Influencers Awards

Marissa Stalman won the Community Steward award

Former city councillor, volunteer helped save Billy Miner building

Bernice Gehring died earlier this month at age 82

Two cars stolen in Maple Ridge while idling unattended

Stay with your car when warming vehicle, RCMP recommends.

Noah Trulsen scholarship game raises $10,000

Supports Ridge Meadows hockey player going into trades

Province wants to call Ottawa on cellphone bills

Maple Ridge MLA pushing for better terms

VIDEO: B.C. high school’s turf closed indefinitely as plastic blades pollute waterway

Greater Victoria resident stumbles on plastic contamination from Oak Bay High

B.C. mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

South Cariboo Driver hits four cows due to fog

The RCMP’s investigation is ongoing

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

1898 Yukon gold rush photo featuring Greta Thunberg look-alike sends internet into tailspin

Jokes erupted this week after a 120-year-old photo taken by Eric A. Hegg surfaced from archives

Driver escaped uninjured as car burst into flames on Nordel Way

It happened at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in North Delta, just west of Scott Road

BC Ferries’ two new hybrid vessels set sail for B.C. from Romania

Two Island Class ferries to be in use by 2020

Distracted driving tickets not for ICBC revenue, B.C. minister says

Minister Mike Farnworth calls SenseBC analysis ‘nonsense’

Most Read