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Suspect in murder outside hockey arena will remain behind bars until June

Yosef Jomo Gopaul’s lawyer, Simon Buck, is stopped briefly by reporters after an appearance by his client at Provincial Court in Surrey, B.C., on May 26, 2014.

Darryl Dyck/The Globe And Mail

The man accused in the brutal killing of a hockey mom in suburban Surrey late last year made his first appearance in provincial court Monday but the case was put over until mid-June.

Josef Gopaul, 27, was ordered to remain in custody and will next appear in a Surrey court on June 13.

Julie Paskall was attacked outside of a hockey arena in what police described as an unprovoked attack and a crime of opportunity. The mother of three died two days later in hospital.

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The murder in Newton, an area of Surrey with a rough reputation, prompted calls for more action to reduce violent crime in the city.

On Monday, the lawyer for Mr. Gopaul said he had yet to receive disclosure of evidence from the Crown in the high-profile case.

"They had nothing for me today – absolutely nothing," said Simon Buck in an interview, two days after his client was charged with second-degree murder in the killing.

Still, the Vancouver lawyer said the absence of such Crown materials on the matter would not be a legal impediment to proceeding with his client's defence.

Mr. Buck said it was too early to say what plea Mr. Gopaul would enter in the death of Ms. Paskall, noting he had no information about the case from his client.

"Anything I have is from other sources, it doesn't come from him," he said.

Police say Mr. Gopaul arrived from Ontario eight weeks before Ms. Paskall's death. In that province, he faced a charge of aggravated sexual assault in a 2010 attack on a woman in Brampton near Toronto.

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A report in the Brampton Guardian newspaper said a 29-year-old woman was attacked while walking at about 2:30 a.m. on Jan 1, 2010. At the time, police said the woman was pushed to the ground and dragged toward a nearby creek before a passerby scared off the attacker, the paper said.

Mr. Buck said his client was eventually convicted of assault.

With a file from The Canadian Press

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About the Author
B.C. reporter

Ian Bailey is a Vancouver-based reporter for The Globe and Mail.  He covers politics and general news. Prior to arriving at The Globe and Mail, he reported from Toronto and St. John’s for The Canadian Press.  He has also covered British Columbia for CP, The National Post and The Province. More

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