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sentence

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Simrit Saran, left, and Jatinder Saran, the sister and mother of manslaughter victim Amiritpal Saran, attend a Jan. 6. 2014 news conference where the arrest of Sarbjit Bains was announced. Photo by Ric Ernst

By Jennifer Saltman, The Province

A Surrey man who choked three people to death has been sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 18 years.
Sarbjit Bains, 33, pleaded guilty in April to manslaughter in the death of 29-year-old Amritpal Saran, and two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Jill Lyons, 45, and Karen Nabors, 48. They were killed in on Feb. 23, Aug. 9 and Aug. 25, 2013.
He was sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster on Wednesday morning.
According to an agreed statement of facts read at Bains’s sentencing hearing, on Feb. 23, 2013, Bains and his common-law partner Evelina Urbaniak called Saran to bring drugs to their Surrey apartment. That afternoon, the three drank and did cocaine together, something they had done before on a number of occasions.
Urbaniak went to bed in the evening, and the two men continued to drink and do drugs. Bains went to the bathroom at one point and when he returned he found Saran naked and about to get into bed with Urbaniak.
Bains put Saran in a choke hold and dragged him out of the room. He believed he used too much force and killed Saran.
Bains and Urbaniak put Saran’s body into a large plastic container, taped a second container over top and put him in Urbaniak’s car. They dumped Saran’s body on Colebrook Road and Bains set it on fire with gasoline.
Saran’s remains were found the next day by a woman and her grandson who were driving in the area.
Six months later Bains contacted Lyons and Nabors, who advertised online as escorts, two weeks apart. He arranged to meet them at their apartments, which were in the same building in New Westminster, intending to rob them.
He arrived at their apartments and tried to intimidate them. When they screamed, he put them in choke holds until they stopped, kicked them and then searched their apartments for valuables. He stole credit and debit cards, cash and cellphones before leaving.
Crown and defence made a joint submission at Bains’s sentencing hearing for life sentences with no chance of parole for 18 years for the two murders, and a 10-year prison sentence for the manslaughter charge. They asked that all sentences run concurrently.
According to court records, Justice Miriam Maisonville acceded to the joint submission.
In February, Urbaniak received a conditional sentence of two years less a day plus three years of probation for her role in disposing of Saran’s remains.

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Sheila Reynolds-Surrey North Delta Leader

A convicted killer who was scheduled to go to trial this week in the murder of a Surrey man at a 2011 Christmas Eve party was recently found not guilty of the attempted murder of another man in Richmond.

Russell Bidesi, 24, is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Bradley McPherson in Surrey. His trial for the McPherson murder was to begin Monday (Aug. 17), but was delayed when Bidesi’s defence lawyer withdrew.

Court documents indicate late last month Bidesi was found not guilty of attempted murder and convicted of a lesser charge in a Richmond case where he was accused of shooting another man in the chin.

In a July 24 B.C. Supreme Court decision, Bidesi was found guilty of attempting to cause bodily harm and was sentenced the following week to two-and-a-half years in prison.

It was early morning Nov. 20, 2011 – just over a month before McPherson was shot – that Bidesi and Harpreet Sandhu were at a hotel party in Richmond. Court heard that while they had a “cordial” relationship, the two got into an argument outside that turned into a brief altercation. One of Bidesi’s friend’s punched Sandhu and another pulled out a gun and waved it around.

Moments later, a cab pulled up and when Sandhu and his friends went to take it, Bidesi ran towards the taxi, carrying his friend’s gun. There was an argument and Bidesi pointed it at Sandhu. The gun fired, hitting him in the chin.

Bidesi argued he pulled the gun only to intimidate Sandhu and that it fired accidentally – a defence the judge did not buy.

But while Justice Barbara Fisher found the shooting was intentional, she said there were aspects of the evidence that raised doubts that Bidesi intended to kill Sandhu, resulting in the bodily harm conviction rather than attempted murder.

Crown recommended a 30-month sentence, while defence lawyer Darcy Lawrence sought an 18-month prison term.

“The Crown’s proposed sentence of 30 months is reasonable,” said Fisher in her reasons. “If Mr. Bidesi were being sentenced to the completed offence, I would consider a sentence at least in the three‑ to four‑year range. A sentence of 30 months … properly takes into account the nature of this offence as an attempt, in light of the serious circumstances in which it was committed.”

In May, Bidesi was also found guilty of manslaughter in another separate case where a 31-year-old Surrey man was shot to death.

Kacey Rogers was gunned down through the window of his home in 2012 during a home invasion. Bidesi was initially charged with second-degree murder in Rogers’ death, but convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in that case on Sept. 17.

His next court date in connection to the McPherson murder is Sept. 3, to fix a new trial date. Lawrence was initially going to defend Bidesi in that case as well, but said Monday he had to back out for ethical and professional reasons.

Bidesi has been in custody since February 2012.