Afshin Maleki Ighani, 45, was denied bail in a Wednesday morning hearing. Ighani is accused of a violent string of crimes in the South Okanagan-Similkameen area. Western News file photo

Alleged violent offender Ighani denied bail

Ighani is accused of kidnapping and assault causing bodily harm in separate incidents

A man accused of violent crimes in the South Okanagan-Similkameen area and while he was an inmate at the Okanagan Correctional Centre will not be released on bail.

Afshin Maleki Ighani entered a bail hearing Wednesday morning after a two-day preliminary inquiry. Both hearings are covered by a publication ban.

What can be published, however, is that Ighani has been denied bail.

Related: Alleged shooter appears in court

Judges have a number of considerations in bail hearings: the accused’s criminal history, history of breaches of court orders or lack thereof, the seriousness of the charges, the likelihood of the accused to breach bail conditions and protection of the public, among others.

Ighani is accused of a string of incidents in the South Okanagan and Similkameen area that occurred in April this year.

Charges on the initial incident that sparked the violent spree have been dropped, after the gunshot victim, Thomas Szajko, died of unrelated causes earlier this month. Ighani was accused of shooting Szajko in April, but with Szajko, the key Crown witness on the matter, no longer able to testify, the Crown announced in court on Monday charges would not be pursued.

Related: Charges dropped for the attempted murder of an Oliver man

Related: Attempted murder charge up in the air after victim’s death

A Canada-wide warrant was issued for Ighani after Szajko was shot on April 19. Just days later it is alleged Ighani was involved in a string of incidents including kidnapping a woman at gunpoint after kicking a man out of the vehicle they were in.

Ighani was later found in a Princeton mobile home park, where shots were fired before he was taken into custody, and the kidnapping victim was taken away from the scene.

Related: Shots fired as RCMP arrest wanted man

Related: Second lawsuit filed this week against jail

Ighani is also accused of causing bodily harm in a Port Coquitlam provincial court file dated 2014 and of two counts of assault causing bodily harm for attacking two inmates at Okanagan Correctional Centre in September.

In that case, Ighani is accused of assaulting David James McHale and Peter Beckett, that latter of which was, days later, convicted of drowning his wife in Upper Arrow Lake.

According to a lawsuit filed by McHale, a jail guard accidentally left a unit unlocked, which allowed Ighani into the room when he then stabbed him. McHale is in protective custody.

Ighani is expected to stand trial on all charges.

Related: Alleged Oliver shooter elects trial by judge


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Penticton photographer publishes book showcasing resilience of Okanagan people

Okanagan Strong showcases the bravery of many during crisis; from COVID-19, to floods, and fires

Summerland steam train to begin operations

Reduced schedule, physical distancing planned for Kettle Valley Steam Railway beginning July 18

Summerland to hold meeting on solar project

Event on July 13 at 1 p.m. open to comments from the public

LETTER: Land for Summerland’s solar project site was designated for growth

Site represents close to 20 per cent of land marked for future growth

South Okanagan RCMP member speaks out against criticism

Police have been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent weeks

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle on Highway 97 west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Predator mutilated cats in Kelowna: BC SPCA

The BC SPCA confirmed a mutilated cat was killed by a predator

LETTER: Former Summerland mayors speak out on solar project

Five former Summerland mayors sign name to short letter

Emergency crews conduct CPR on unresponsive person in Okanagan Lake

West Kelowna emergency crews are on scene at the shores of Jubilee Mobile Home Park

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Most Read