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Accused in B.C. toddler's death loses third lawyer

Seyed Ramin Moshfeghi Zadeh is charged with dangerous driving causing death, fraud and breaching a court order.
Seyed Ramin Moshfeghi Zadeh has a Jan. 23 court appearance.

A man awaiting trial in the motor vehicle death of a Vancouver toddler has lost his third lawyer, leaving trial timings in doubt.

Seyed Ramin Moshfeghi Zadeh’s case appeared before Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Nancy Adams on Jan. 18.

On the docket were charges of dangerous driving causing death, dangerous driving causing bodily harm, breach of a release order and using a forged document.

The first two charges are in connection with the July 6, 2021, collision of a black Ford Escape with a black McLaren sports car at the intersection of Smithe and Hornby streets.

The collision sent the SUV onto a nearby sidewalk where it hit a man carrying his 23-month-old child.

"The child died and the father was taken to hospital with life-altering injuries," the Vancouver Police Department said at the time.

Moshfeghi Zadeh was charged with one count of dangerous operation of a conveyance causing death and one count of dangerous operation of a conveyance causing bodily harm.

Police alleged Moshfeghi Zadeh was driving the Escape.

He was arrested at the time.

The case on those charges is now 552 days old. Trial dates had been scheduled for April 2-11, Adams heard.

Moshfeghi Zadeh is also facing a charge of breaching a release order.

In addition to the breach charge, where it is alleged he was at large in Vancouver Aug. 8 to Sept. 6, Moshfeghi Zadeh is also facing a charge of using a forged document.

Court records show the charge relates to Moshfeghi Zadeh’s alleged use of a driver's licence knowing it to be forged.

Those charges are now 114 days old. A trial on those was set for April 18.

Moshfeghi Zadeh has fired several lawyers. His third, Sarah Leamon, applied to Adams Jan. 17 to withdraw from the case citing ethical issues.

Leamon told Adams she had consulted with senior lawyers and the law society before making the application.

Adams allowed Leamon to withdraw as Moshfeghi Zadeh’s lawyer in a B.C. Supreme Court case on sexual assault allegations. Leamon said she applied on Jan. 15 to withdraw from another Moshfeghi Zadeh case. That was granted, she said.

Moshfeghi Zadeh was not in court. Adams directed the court clerk to phone him but the call went to voicemail.

The judge asked Leamon to tell Moshfeghi Zadeh to be in court for a Jan. 23 appearance.

In June, he elected to be tried by a Vancouver provincial court judge sitting alone after entering a not-guilty plea.