The man accused of making a hoax phone call that caused panic among staff and residents at a North Vancouver seniors home, just as the institution was grappling with its first cases of COVID-19, appeared in court on Wednesday.
Taymour Aghati, 26, appeared in a Richmond courtroom by video link, though details of the proceedings cannot be reported due to publication bans.
Aghati is charged with conveying false information with intent to injure or alarm, in relation a phone call he allegedly made in March that alarmed staff at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, according to the BC Prosecution Service.
The province’s first long-term care home outbreak had been announced at the facility the day prior.
The details of what Aghati allegedly said have not been made public, but workers were reportedly severely distressed by the message they believed was coming from health officials, according to the Lynn Valley Care Centre.
Staff learned the next day that the call had been a hoax, but the care centre said in July that it had resulted in reduced staffing and that “a great deal of harm had already been done to our capacity to provide” care.
Police made an arrest in July, but released the suspect at the time pending further investigation.
While Aghati is facing a single charge in relation to the call, Global News has learned he’s also facing a string of other serious charges related to incidents over the last year in five different B.C. communities, from Port Alberni to Richmond.
Those charges include extortion, unlawful confinement, sexual assault with a weapon, robbery and possession of an imitation firearm.
Aghati is due back in court on Oct. 20.