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B.C. man jailed six years for manslaughter

Surrey's Andrew Baldwin was stabbed to death in a friend's home by Jordan Bottomley.
B.C Supreme Court in Vancouver.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has jailed a Surrey man for six years after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter for his part in a 2019 fatal stabbing connected to the drug trade.

In her Feb. 29 decision, Justice Martha Devlin said Munroop Singh Hayer, 30, pleaded guilty to the Nov. 11, 2019 manslaughter of Andrew Baldwin.

She said Hayer was the instigator of the attack over a drug debt.

Devlin said Baldwin was stabbed to death in a friend’s home by Jordan Bottomley, a drug trade associate of Hayer.

Hayer was originally charged with the first-degree murder along with Bottomley and Jagpal Singh Hothi.

On April 26, 2023, the Crown agreed to a plea to the offence of manslaughter.

The judge said Hayer and Baldwin were associates in the drug trade and that, in mid-2019, Baldwin incurred a drug debt to Hayer.

She said that, between September and November, Hayer had sent message to Baldwin and others saying he would be killed.

Devlin has already sentenced Bottomley to eight years and Hothi to three years for their parts in the crime.

Events of Nov. 11, 2019

After some communication between Hothi, Jasman Singh Basran, Bottomley and Hayer via SMS, electronic messages and phone calls, the four came together in Basran’s vehicle to go to a location.

“Hothi knew at the time that a person who owed a drug debt was expected to be at the location and he was also aware that the debt was related to the drug trafficking trade,” Devlin said

Hayer reported to a pre-sentence reporter writer that Baldwin would be confronted and possibly roughed up.

The vehicle stopped near Lien Road, close to the intersection with 124th Street and Hothi and Bottomley got out.

Shortly after, Bottomley arrived at the residence and was inside for about two minutes before returning to the vehicle.

“Basran noticed that Mr. Bottomley was bleeding, covered in blood, with visible injuries and breathing heavily,” the court heard.

Soon, Bottomley was kicked out of the truck.

“Bottomley left large amounts of blood all over the back seat of the truck where he had been sitting,” Devlin said.

Minutes later, Hothi and Hayer had a phone call lasting one minute and 38 seconds.

“Shortly afterwards, Mr. Hayer stopped using his phone ending in -0521,” Devlin said. “I find as a fact that Mr. Hayer deliberately stopped using his phone ending in -0521 to distance himself from the killing of Mr. Baldwin.”

The sentence

Devlin said the Crown emphasized Hayer’s alleged role as the leader of a criminal organization who initiated the series of events that led to Baldwin’s death.

Crown said a substantial sentence was required given Hayer’s intentional risk-taking in directing a confrontation over a debt, in the context of the drug subculture and in circumstances in which he was aware that violence was possible.

The Crown asked for 12 years imprisonment, emphasizing that Hayer engaged in a campaign of threats to recover a drug debt. The Crown said plans involved planning and coordination among Hayer’s various associates in his criminal organization for the benefit of, at the direction of or in association with that criminal organization.

The defence said when Hayer told Bottomley to confront Baldwin over a drug debt, he did not know that Bottomley would be armed, nor did he know Bottomley would stab Baldwin to death.

The defence suggested a five-year sentence.

Hayer addressed the court, apologizing for his actions leading to Baldwin’s death.

“He acknowledged that his actions . . . were unacceptable and disgusting,” Devlin said. “Mr. Hayer described Andrew as a good man who was happy and smart; while they both made mistakes in their lives, Mr. Hayer expressed regret that he did not support Andrew as a friend.”

Devlin credited Hayer with 165 days for time already spent in custody. The remaining time to be served is five years, three months and 25 days.

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