THE Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) on Saturday announced that the suspect arrested in the horrific beating death of 53-year-old Julie Paskall last December at a parking lot just outside Surrey’s Newton Recreation Centre is Yosef Jomo Gopaul, 27, of Ontario.
He has been charged with second-degree murder.
Gopaul made a brief appearance at Surrey Provincial Court. He will remain in custody until June 13, his next court date.
Police said he has a criminal record for assault in Brampton, Ontario. He had moved to B.C. eight weeks before Paskall was killed.
He was a suspect within a month of police investigation. Police could not divulge information about the investigation in order to protect the integrity of the case and not jeopardize the prosecution process.
Paskall was mercilessly beaten by a robber for her purse just after 9:30 p.m. on December 29 and succumbed to her injuries on December 31.
IHIT, which took over the investigation on December 30, said at the time: “This investigation has similarities to an assault on a female that occurred in the same area on December 16, 2013. Surrey RCMP continue to investigate this previous incident and although the motive appears similar these two occurrences have not definitively been linked.”
Paskall was a volunteer time keeper with one of the senior teams of the Surrey Minor Hockey Association, according to President Harbs Bains.
ACCORDING to a January 2010 report in the Brampton Guardian in Ontario, Gopaul, who was then 22, was charged with aggravated sexual assault and arrested.
The newspaper reported: “On … January 1, 2010, at approximately 2:30 a.m., the victim, a 29 year-old Brampton woman, was walking in the area of Main Street and Nanwood Drive. At this time, she was pushed to the ground and dragged towards a nearby creek. The suspect fled on foot after a witness began to approach them. The victim sustained numerous injuries to her face and body. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated and released. Through the course of the investigation, it was learned that the suspect had contact with the victim earlier that night at a local establishment.”