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B.C. man gets 4 years for shooting sex worker while high on his birthday

Varinder Singh Deo began arguing with escort after saying she didn’t look like online photo
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Varinder Singh Deo was sentenced on Nov. 30, 2023 to four years in jail for shooting a sex worker in the back. Here, the Law Courts building, which is home to B.C. Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, is seen in Vancouver, on November 23, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A B.C. man who shot a sex worker in the back while high on cocaine on his birthday has been sentenced to four years in prison.

Varinder Singh Deo, now age 45, was celebrating with a friend late on a May night in 2021 when the assault happened, according to a B.C. Supreme Court ruling published this week. The two were hanging out in Deo’s detached garage, drinking alcohol and consuming cocaine, while Deo’s wife and child slept inside their Boundary Road home.

At some point, Deo arranged for a sex worker to come over. When that woman arrived, Deo said he was upset because he didn’t think she looked like her online photograph. Deo said he was also put on edge because the woman, referred to as B.K., had brought a second sex worker with her, known as M.C.

Deo and B.K. argued over a cancellation fee, with B.K. at one point asking whether she needed to “call someone” to resolve the situation. In response, Deo pulled up his shirt to reveal a handgun he had tucked into his waistband.

He later told police he found the question upsetting because he’d had a traumatic experience with the same escort service a few years earlier when he was supposed to meet up with a sex worker but was instead robbed by multiple men at knife point.

Seeing the gun, B.K. and M.C. started retreating back to their vehicle. The only got about 20 feet away, though, before Deo fired two shots at them. One of the shots missed while the other struck the back of M.C.’s left shoulder, exiting out of her chest.

Deo fled the scene and was arrested two hours later at his parent’s place. He told police he hadn’t known the gun was loaded and that he thought he had fired it into the air, not at the women.

He later pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and recklessly discharging a firearm.

M.C. spent three days in hospital and suffered nerve damage to her shoulder and fingertips, as well as scarring to her arm and chest.

“…M.C. has understandably been left with almost constant fear and paranoia, and a sense of being emotionally overwhelmed,” Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes added in her ruling.

B.K. was not physically injured, but also suffers long-lasting emotional effects, Holmes said.

“She has a hard time trusting men, and will no longer let a man stand behind her. She will never forget her friend M.C. almost dying in the car, and asking her to tell her daughter she loves her.”

B.K. also had to pay a more than $7,000 bill for blood stain removal from the rental car they were using that night.

In her decision, Holmes noted that Deo has a long history of cocaine use dating back to his early 20s, but that he has successfully been clean for a long period before and is committed to doing so again. Holmes also said she is satisfied that Deo is “profoundly remorseful” for what he did.

With a maximum sentence of 14 years per offence available to her, Holmes chose to sentence Deo to four years in prison for each, to be served at the same time. She also ordered Deo to reimburse B.K. for the blood stain removal bill.

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About the Author: Jane Skrypnek

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media.
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