Critics are slamming the sentence handed to a Vancouver Island man, who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and brutally assaulting a woman at his Duncan property in 2017.
Kehlar Garry Sangha was charged with forcible confinement and aggravated assault.
Sangha was handed a five-and-a-quarter-year sentence, but will serve just over 400 days in jail after credit for time served.
Sangha’s victim, who can not be identified due to a publication ban, was held against her will for several days. She eventually escaped through a window, and when she was found, her face was reportedly so badly beaten it appeared she was wearing a mask.
Angela Marie MacDougall, executive director of of the Battered Women Support Services, said the judge focused too much on Sangha’s own personal troubles and traumas in deciding a sentence.
“We’ve seen this before in Canada, routinely, where the criminal legal system puts a lot of emphasis on the accused and not the victim,” she said.
“The Canadian legal system continues to fail miserably when it comes to leveling justice for victims of violence.”
Such sentences, she said, send a signal to perpetrators that they will not face serious consequences for their actions.
“I think in these kinds of circumstances, when we’re looking at this level of violence that this man did to this woman, this sentence does not match the level of violence that she experienced,” she said.
One of the victim’s family members, who cannot be named because it could identify her, said she will be left with life-long trauma from the incident.
“Her life has been permanently altered. I believe she’s got brain damage, she lives in acute pain every day, I believe she’s got neurological damage,” they said.
“I don’t know how she’s going to have any ability of living a normal life.”
The court heard that in April 2017, the victim was renting an outbuilding on Sangha’s farm.
When a break-in happened, Sangha blamed her for stealing drugs, took held her captive, and beat her over the course of three days.