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)

Comox Valley shooting victim offered 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.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

crime

Just Posted

The price of gas is way up in many parts of Greater Victoria after a Monday afternoon surge sent it to 162.9 cents per litre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gas prices surge to 162.9 cents a litre at some Greater Victoria stations

Prices jumped up more than 10 cents Monday afternoon

Swanwick Ranch in Metchosin, featuring an award-winning home on 67 acres of property overlooking the ocean, recently sold for a record-setting, yet undisclosed amount. (Sotheby’s International Realty Canada photo)
Sale of oceanfront property in Metchosin yields new record for Greater Victoria

Listed at $14.1 million, Swanwick Ranch sold to an undisclosed buyer

The number of skilled trades workers available is not enough to fill the current construction boom in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Influx of skilled tradespeople falling behind Greater Victoria construction boom

Thousands of positions will be needed by 2030, despite flow of Camosun trades students

Research into the city of Victoria’s economic recovery through the pandemic shows things to be moving in the right direction. (Photo courtesy City of Victoria)
Data shows Victoria experiencing gradual economic recovery

Statistics for early 2021 show promising returns as Victoria 3.0 begins to take hold

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
B.C. teen who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

Bernadette Jordan addresses the media following a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on January 14, 2019. Jordan says the government will provide $2 million to allow First Nations to continue to strengthen the marine safety system across Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
First Nations receive federal funds to purchase marine rescue boats

Quatsino, Heiltsuk, and Kitasoo First Nation’s among eight across Canada to receive funding

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read