A man who says he was shot at during a brazen shooting outside the Ikea store in Richmond in December pleaded guilty Wednesday to involvement in an apparently unrelated home invasion and received a sentence of time served.
Robinder Johal, 42, and his wife were at the scene when somebody shot at him and his family, his lawyer Jason Mann told B.C. Supreme Court Associate Chief Justice Austin Cullen during a brief sentencing hearing in Vancouver.
"Life has certainly changed for Mr. Johal and his wife and his family," said Mann, who added that the couple was not currently living together for safety reasons.
Police at the time said the shooting was targeted but not gang-related. During the sentencing for the home invasion which happened in 2009, Mann made no mention of a connection between it and the recent Ikea shooting incident.
Johal, a father of two, pleaded guilty to one count of assault in connection with the home invasion in the 6800-block Alderbridge Way in Richmond.
In a joint submission by Crown and defence, prosecutor Brian MacFarlane told the judge that Johal was among an unknown number of men who entered the apartment in the early-morning hours.
One of the assailants was the ex-boyfriend of a woman in the apartment. Several people inside the apartment were assaulted, including the woman. A man was so severely beaten he has been unable to return to work.
MacFarlane said Johal's role was as a party to the offence, to hinder two people, including the woman, from coming to the aid of the victims.
Mann said his client was employed as a longshoreman and had no criminal record.
He said Johal was "certainly embarrassed and remorseful" for his role in the offence.
"He tells me everyone had been drinking. He was certainly following along with the group. Things spiralled out of control."
Two other accused in the case were convicted and received short jail terms.
Johal, a burly man sporting a shaved head, spent three and a half months in custody after being arrested and has since been on bail.
The judge accepted the submissions of Crown and defence that an appropriate sentence was time served plus one day in jail.
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