A man convicted Jan. 27 of holding a man against his will in Richmond, and using weapons to coerce the victim to commit bestiality, pleaded guilty Feb. 21 to obstruction of justice.
In B.C. Supreme Court, before Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes, Taymour Aghtai, 28, waived his right to a trial. He will be sentenced May 5.
After Holmes read the charge against Aghtai, he agreed that he used threats, bribes or other corrupt means in a bid to persuade another person, whose name is covered by a publication ban, to not testify at his trial. The offences happened between Jan. 19, 2021 and April 13, 2021.
“As I understand it, you were in custody at the time and you made phone calls to your mother and, essentially, asked her to relay messages, either directly or indirectly to [the witness]. Is that correct?
“Yes,” Aghtai said.
“And the purpose of your doing that was to try to cause [the witness] not to testify in the trial.”
“Yes,” he said.
At trial, Holmes heard that once Aghtai arrived at the apartment near the Richmond Olympic Oval on Sept. 4, 2020, he hit the victim on the head from behind, and restrained him with handcuffs and zap straps. The victim testified that Aghtai and others assaulted and humiliated over the course of 30 hours until he escaped. The man testified that Aghtai “was not the main aggressor, but played a very significant role,” Holmes said in her verdict.
Aghtai denied the charges, but Holmes found the evidence showed beyond a reasonable doubt that Aghtai kept the man restrained physically and sometimes used threats and intimidation against the victim.
Holmes found Aghtai guilty of sexual assault with a weapon, assault with a weapon, extortion, unlawful confinement and use of an imitation firearm in relation to the unlawful confinement.
Aghtai had known the victim since they were teenagers and was in the business of buying and selling merchandise from his home.
Aghtai was also sentenced Feb. 7 in North Vancouver Provincial Court to time served for public mischief and conveying a false message with intent to alarm.
He had pleaded guilty in December 2021 to making 63 malicious crank calls to four managers, six nurses and two administrators at the Lynn Valley Care Centre early in the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
He also pleaded guilty to a hoax phone call to a Parksville Fields store and RCMP detachment in November 2019, claiming that a black man was shooting people in the store. Police attended and found no such incident.
Judge Patricia Janzen chastised Aghtai for putting others at risk of harm in both incidents, especially any black men near the Fields store and senior citizens and staff at the Lynn Valley Care Centre. She said the senselessness of his crime was only matched by its cruelty.
“Your criminal record is appalling,” Janzen said.
A 2014 psychological assessment provided to the judge concluded that Aghtai was a narcissistic, anti-social alcohol abuser with psychopathic tendencies.
Aghtai has a criminal record dating back to 2008 for making hoax phone calls that falsely alleged heinous crimes or impersonated police officers. He also has a record of assault, robbery, break and enter, confinement and weapons offences, and violating court orders.
In 2020, he stole personal protective equipment from a seniors care home and escaped lawful custody at Richmond Hospital where he assaulted two corrections officers by threatening them with a contaminated syringe.
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