NEWS

Alleged gay bashers plead not guilty

03/20/2012 11:15 EDT | Updated 05/20/2012 05:12 EDT

Two brothers accused in an alleged gay bashing pleaded not guilty in Vancouver Provincial Court on Tuesday.

Parminder and Ravinder Bassi pleaded not guilty to one count each of assault causing bodily harm following an attack in June 2010 that outraged the city’s gay community.

The Crown alleges David Holtzman and Peter Regier were returning to their Keefer Street home after a late-night concert when they ran into two men outside their condo.

According to the Crown, the pair admonished Ravinder Bassi for urinating on the building and were then hit with a barrage of homophobic slurs.

The Crown alleges the brothers attacked the couple, punching them in the head numerous times, after Regier tried to take Bassi's picture.

According to the Crown, Regier needed staples to close a head wound and Holtzman suffered short-term visual impairment as a result of the assault.

After the alleged attack, the suspected assailants fled the scene, but the responding police officer testified that the couple had bloody faces and said there was blood on the sidewalk.

Vancouver police arrested the two accused in Richmond about three weeks later.

Parminder Bassi was 30 and Ravinder Bassi was 27 at the time they were charged.

Gay advocate Mark Robins, editor of gayvancouver.net, said it’s a relief that the trial is finally about to begin.

"You’re talking about an incident that happened two years ago, but we remember these things," said Robins. “We want to see justice happen.”

The trial is scheduled to take about five days in Vancouver Provincial Court.

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