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Man sentenced to 12 years for fatal beating of senior during Vancouver home invasion

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A man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the beating death of a 78-year-old woman during a home invasion and robbery on Vancouver’s west side has been handed a 12-year sentence by a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

With credit for time served since his arrest in February 2021, Pascal Bouthillete will have close to seven years remaining on his sentence.

Justice Kathleen Ker accepted the recommendations laid out in a joint sentencing submission by the Crown and defence.

The court heard that Bouthillete and co-accused Sandy Parisian dressed in fake police jackets when they went to Usha Singh’s home at 6 a.m. on Jan. 31, 2021.

Parisian, who was tried separately, also pleaded guilty for his role in the crime and received a sentence of seven years.

According to the joint submission, Bouthillete was the one who attacked Singh, pushing her into a bathroom and beating her about the neck, face and head before leaving her on the floor injured and shutting the door.

The two men then proceeded to steal items from the senior’s home.

Singh would die in hospital two days later, just an hour before police arrested the suspects.

“The last few moments of Ms. Singh’s life must have been terrifying and shattering any sense of security she had in her home,” said Crown Counsel Jacinta Lawton. “And so that was from the outset one of the most shocking, upsetting and disturbing elements of this file.”

In her reasons for sentencing, Ker said she had to consider both aggravating and mitigating circumstances.

The court heard 44-year-old Bouthillate had a difficult upbringing in his hometown of Montreal and that he spent most of his childhood being shuttled between various psychiatric institutions, foster homes, and his mother who the court heard was addicted to drugs and shared crack cocaine with her son when he was just nine years old.

The court heard Bouthillate, who had a chronic heroin addiction for most of his adult life, has completed a methadone program while in pre-trial custody and has not used any substances in more than a year.

He also attained his high school diploma while awaiting trial.

But Ker said she had to give primary consideration to denunciation and deterrence in handing down a sentence because of the vulnerability of the elderly victim who had the sanctity of her home violated.

“A frail 78-year-old woman was severely beaten and injured, robbed of her possessions and left without any assistance,” Ker said. “The community as a whole is left feeling less safe, more vulnerable and less secure in their own home.”

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