Anam Laiq’s three older siblings, parents, widower, in-laws, cousins and friends arrived at the Brampton courthouse Wednesday anxious for the trial of the man accused of causing the crash that killed the newlywed. Instead, they learned the trial was being postponed again.
“It’s torture,” said Nausheen Laiq, the victim’s sister as her father standing behind her, wiped away tears.
“The trial was supposed to begin on Monday. It got adjourned until Tuesday. We all came again on Tuesday just to find out it was adjourned again and today, again, it’s being postponed.”
The family has been waiting for the trial for nearly four years. The anticipation of reliving in court what happened that tragic night is gut-wrenching.
“We just want justice done and we’ve been waiting four years and just coming here every day, not seeing anything done is obviously very frustrating,” said Laiq’s older sister Sara.
It was October 21, 2018 at 12:25 am when Peel Regional Police were called to a two-car collision in at the intersection of Highway 50 and Castlemore Road in Brampton. 30-year-old Laiq, a passenger in one car was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 31-year-old husband Mander Virpal, had to be extricated from the vehicle and was transported to Sunnybrook Hospital with serious injuries.
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At the time, investigators said the driver of the second vehicle ran away from the scene on foot.
Three days later, 23-year-old Walid Wakeel turned himself into police and was charged with criminal negligence causing death, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death and failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing bodily harm. Wakeel’s trial, by judge alone, was set to begin at the Brampton Courthouse Monday.
The Laiq family, who has attended court all week, wearing white t-shirts with a picture of Anam and the words #JusticeforAnam across the front, said they have been given different reasons for the delay.
“On Monday, the defence counsel requested some time. Yesterday, the delay was due to court resourcing. Today, again from the defence side,” Nausheen Laiq explained saying that they’d been told defence lawyer was not feeling well and could not attend in person, nor on zoom.
“Our sister is not here and we’re just getting jerked around and there’s no justice coming and that’s not right,” said Laiq’s older brother, Asif.
Laiq’s widower Virpal arrived at the courthouse Wednesday prompting family and friends to break down in tears. Virpal who had only been married to Laiq for a few weeks, suffered two broken legs in the collision and underwent multiple surgeries.
“He’s not doing well as you can see. He’s coming to support us. He obviously wants justice as well,” said Sara explaining her sister and her new husband were planning to go on their honeymoon at the time of the crash.
“I just remember her being very excited that her wedding was finally here. Full of excitement and hope for the future,” said Nadia Laeeque, Laiq’s cousin.
“It was just such a joyous experience. We were all shattered,” remembered Shelley Gill, one of Laiq’s best friends thinking about the wedding followed by the funeral.
The trial is scheduled to begin on Thursday though the family has been told there are no guarantees.