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A former Kelowna cab driver received a conditional discharge on Friday, Aug. 28, after pleading guilty to committing an indecent act in a public place.
In the early morning hours of May 26, 2019, Gagandeep Singh Sidhu, 38, picked up a fare to drive a woman in her 20s home from the bar.
Upon arriving at the woman’s home, she became sick and began vomiting in a nearby garbage bin.
Footage from security cameras at the house showed Sidhu approach the woman and put one hand on her back. He positioned himself behind the woman and appeared to start masturbating.
The next day, the woman’s father watched the security footage and informed the police. The man was subsequently arrested and charged with sexual assault.
In court on Friday, Sidhu pled guilty to the lesser charge of committing an indecent act.
A joint submission from both the Crown and defence counsel suggested Sidhu be conditionally discharged due to his status as a permanent resident in Canada. If convicted, he would’ve likely been repatriated to India.
He also has a family, including a young child who was born shortly after the incident.
Provincial Court Judge Catharine Heinrichs agreed that a discharge would be in Sidhu’s best interest as he poses no threat to the public.
“It was clearly a lapse in Mr. Sidhu’s judgement at the time,” she said while delivering her sentencing decision.
Among the conditions of Sidhu’s discharge is a no-contact order, barring him from having any contact with the woman.
Those conditions will remain in place for one year. If Sidhu breaches those conditions or commits another offence, he can still be sentenced on the matter, otherwise, the conviction will be removed from his record.
Sidhu is also ordered to serve 20 hours of community service.
The Crown stayed the sexual assault charge.
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