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

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

Most Read