A Saanich man was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court for an attack during a Merville break-in and other offences in 2018. (Black Press file photo)

A Saanich man was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court for an attack during a Merville break-in and other offences in 2018. (Black Press file photo)

B.C. shooting victim offered his attacker drink, money, washroom

14-year sentence: bullet is still lodged in the victim, too dangerous to remove

The victim of a break-in at a Merville home on March 14, 2018 offered his late-night intruder a drink when the unwanted guest was thirsty.

Robert Scott also let Richard Daniel Yves Vigneault use his washroom. He asked if the visitor needed help and fetched $40 to give to Vigneault.

None of this prevented Scott from being attacked though.

In fact, according to the reasons for sentencing released Thursday, Vigneault raised a handgun at Scott, who closed his eyes. The gun jammed at first, but then Vigneault fired the gun at Scott’s face. The bullet entered the jaw and made a path through the victim’s head, resting adjacent to the cervical vertebrae.

“It remains there to this day. It is too dangerous to attempt to remove it because of the risk of paralysis,” Justice Robin Baird wrote in his decision.

The attack on Scott was just one of a few incidents for which the accused had been arrested three years ago. These all took place between March 12 and 15, 2018. To start, Vigneault broke into a Courtenay home and stole various items on March 12. The break-in and attack on Scott followed at about 1 a.m. on March 14, with Vigneault fleeing the scene immediately after Scott’s brother called for help.

About five hours later, Vigneault was found inside the garage at another Merville home spray-painting some hockey shoulder pads. He was asked to leave, which he did, though with the pads and a duffel bag. Later that day, a farmer found a bike taken from the Courtenay home, and investigators took a DNA swab from its handlebars.

Around midnight, Vigneault turned up in the basement of a yet another Merville home. The homeowner asked what he was doing, but Vigneault said nothing. He was described as “very drunk” and passed out. He was found to have stolen property, and police were able to arrest him without incident.

RELATED STORY: Shooting incident north of Courtenay nets almost 10-year sentence

Last month in B.C. Supreme Court in Courtenay, Vigneault pleaded guilty to multiple counts. The charges included four counts of break-and-enter, two of firearms possession and single counts of discharging a firearm with intent, aggravated assault and carrying a concealed weapon. The sentence amounted to 14 years, though with credit for time prior to the sentencing, Vigneault’s time to be served equals nine years and three months.

The judge took into account mitigating and aggravating factors. The accused had several convictions, including assault, but he had never served a sentence of more than 30 days. A psychological report noted addictions and mental health issues, including bipolar disorder. As to why he had a gun, he had said, “I was going to Tofino. The reason I had the gun was to do some hunting or commit suicide.”

Baird referred to the term “home invasion,” but suggested it implies an attack with premeditation or knowledge that people are home at the time of the break-in.

“It could be argued that the break-in to the Scott home was more random than targeted or premeditated. The accused had no idea who lived there, or what kind of people the occupants might be. It is not obvious to me that he entered the house with a fixed intention of doing violence,” the judge wrote.

However, the judge did not accept the accused had any major mental illness contributing to the attack, beyond self-induced intoxication. He also cited the severity of the crime.

“He was armed with an illegal handgun. He used the handgun to commit a life-endangering assault. He caused Mr. Scott serious and permanent injury. These are profoundly aggravating factors,” Baird added.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Crime

Just Posted

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Holger Schwichtenberg and his son Philip talk in the barn of the 150-acre Schwichtenberg farm. This farm is one of many throughout B.C. that support more than 12,500 jobs across the province in the dairy industry. (Contributed Photo/B.C. Dairy Association)
Agassiz dairy farm a model of care for environment, animals, and family

Farm is part of a dairy sector centred in the Fraser Valley, supporting 12,500 jobs province-wide

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Most Read