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Lynn Valley Care Centre hoaxer to face trial for Richmond crime spree

Taymour Aghtai is charged with several offences including sexual assault, assault with a weapon and extortion, all of which allegedly took place Sept. 5, 2020.
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In B.C. Supreme Court on June 22, Justice Ronald Skolrood set a 10-day trial for Taymour Aghtai between Nov. 28-Dec. 9 | Photo: Rob Kruyt, BIV

A man facing seven charges stemming from a crime spree in Richmond will go on trial in late November. 

In B.C. Supreme Court on June 22, Justice Ronald Skolrood set a 10-day trial for Taymour Aghtai between Nov. 28-Dec. 9. 

Aghtai, born in 1994, is charged with sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, assault with a weapon, extortion, unlawful confinement and possession of a firearm. The alleged incidents occurred Sept. 5, 2020. Aghtai elected for trial by judge alone. 

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13.

Aghtai remains in custody. He appeared via videoconference at the scheduling hearing. The matter is proceeding to trial by direct indictment, rather than a preliminary hearing, to which Aghtai seemed confused.

“So is a direct indictment a big deal or something I need to know about?” Aghtai said.

The judge advised he ask his lawyer, but defence counsel Josh Oppal sent a law student in his place. 

Last December, Aghtai pleaded guilty to conveying a false message with intent to alarm for a phone call he made in March 2020 to the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver. 

On the same day a patient there became Canada’s first-known death from the coronavirus, Aghtai pretended to be a public health officer warning the facility should be closed. His call led to a shift cancellation the next day.