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Surrey man sentenced to 6 years in 2019 stabbing of Andrew Baldwin

Justice Martha Devlin sentenced Munroop Singh Hayer on Thursday, Feb. 29 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster
Surrey homicide victim Andrew Baldwin, 30. (Photo: Police handout)

A Surrey man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the Nov. 11, 2019 stabbing of Andrew Baldwin in Whalley has been sentenced to six years in prison, which in effect works out to five years, three months and 25 days with time served.

Justice Martha Devlin sentenced Munroop Singh Hayer on Thursday, Feb. 29 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster.

The court imposed a publication ban on information that could identify a witness who was referred to only as A.B.

The court heard Baldwin, 30, was stabbed in the chest in A.B.’s home by Jordan Bottomley, an associate of Hayer’s in the drug trade. Hayer was originally charged with the first-degree murder, along with Jordan Bottomley and Jagpal Singh Hothi but on April 26, 2023, the Crown agreed to a plea to the lesser offence of manslaughter.

The Crown argued for a sentence of 12 years in prison given Hayer’s “high” moral blameworthiness as the alleged leader of a criminal organization “who initiated the series of events that led to the death of Mr. Baldwin,” Devlin noted in her reasons for sentence. The defence sought a five-year prison term.

“At the time of the offence, Mr. Hayer, Mr. Hothi and Mr. Bottomley were associates involved in the Lower Mainland drug trade. Mr. Hayer occupied a higher role than either Mr. Hothi or Mr. Bottomley in the drug trafficking operation,” Devlin noted. “In mid-2019 Mr. Baldwin incurred a drug debt to Mr. Hayer.”

READ ALSO: Surrey drug dealer sentenced to 8 years for stabbing friend to death

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Bottomley, 29, was sentenced by Devlin to eight years in prison in 2023 after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter but with credit for time served, his sentence worked out to 1,133 days, or three years and 38 days. He was originally charged with first-degree murder but pleaded down to the lesser offence after his trial began in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. The Crown argued for a sentence of 12 years in prison while the defence argued for six to seven years.

Jagpal Singh Hothi, 24, was originally charged with first-degree murder but Devlin sentenced him to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter. After factoring in credit for time served, Hothi’s sentence was actually 990 days, or two years, eight months and 17 days.

Back to Hayer’s sentencing, the judge considered victim impact statements from Baldwin’s family and A.B.

“They are all profoundly sad and reflect the wide-ranging impact of Andrew’s tragic death on all of them,” she noted.

Hayer was 26 years old when Baldwin was killed and is now 30 years old. He was born and raised in Surrey. The court heard that while attending high school Hayer began associating with a “rougher crowd” and began selling marihuana in Whalley “but progressed to a dial-a-dope operation where he trafficked in crack cocaine and heroin.”

Devlin said she was provided with “numerous letters of support from family and friends of Mr. Hayer. They all describe Mr. Hayer as a good person who has displayed kindness and compassion to those in need, whether that be his immediate family or people in the community.”

Hayer apologized to Baldwin’s mother in court for his role in her son’s death and for the pain and suffering he caused.

“He acknowledged that his actions, including his threats to her and others, were unacceptable and disgusting,” Devlin noted. “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 noted that Hayer wasn’t the one who killed Baldwin, “nor did he intend for Mr. Baldwin to be killed.” He was the instigator of the attack, expecting Bottomley would “rough him (Baldwin) up.”

“I consider Mr. Hayer’s guilty plea a genuine demonstration of remorse and a positive step towards rehabilitation,” she decided.

Nevertheless, Devlin noted the crime was “not a spontaneous act.

“The attack on Mr. Baldwin was planned and coordinated. Mr. Hayer enlisted his associates in the drug trade to carry out the confrontation on his behalf, thus serving to insulate himself from detection. He did so in a situation he knew to be inherently dangerous, in which Mr. Baldwin would likely be threatened, intimidated and/or suffer bodily harm as a result. Mr. Hayer’s conduct was both selfish and anti-social.”

About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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