BC Appeal Court halves prison sentence for contemptuous Botox partygoer

The BC Supreme Court has halved a prison sentence for a woman in Vancouver who repeatedly administered injections to Botox partygoers in blatant defiance despite a previous court order.

A panel of three appeals judges agreed that the six-month sentence, a lower court judge sentenced Maria Ezzati for contempt of court earlier this year, was “demonstrably unsuitable”.

In a ruling highlighting previous attempts to tame a rogue gallery of fake doctors, appeals court judges said half a year behind bars was a “marked and significant departure from convictions handed down in this province over similarly situated” mockers.

“I recognize that sentencing intervals are not ‘straitjackets,’ nor do they establish ‘hard and fast rules,'” Judge Gregory Fitch wrote for the majority.

“At the same time, and with due regard for the recognized principle that restraint should give a sentence of imprisonment for civil contempt, I am satisfied that the sentence imposed per. [Ezzati] is excessively punitive. “

‘She has been shown to lie’

Ezzati, who claims to be qualified as a doctor in Ireland, is not licensed to practice in BC and has been ordered not to refer to herself as a doctor – a fact that many of her clients were unaware of.

She was convicted in BC’s Supreme Court in February last year after BC’s College of Physicians and Surgeons proved she had injected dozens of people at Botox parties, even after being sanctioned by the court.

Rajdeep Kaur Khakh was an unauthorized Botox injector who called himself Dr. Lipjob. The BC Court of Appeal heard the Abbotsford woman’s case in an attempt to determine a proper judgment for contempt of court. (Facebook)

Judge Miriam Gropper fined Ezzati $ 5,000 the first time she was found in contempt.

If anything, the 36-year-old, as she had done before, continued only with “greater intensity,” according to the judge.

“Ms. Ezzati did not learn anything from the process of the first contempt,” Gropper wrote.

“She constantly violated court rulings and lied about it … she was defiant.”

After considering evidence, including a customer’s complaint about a post-injection lump the size of a golf ball, Gropper sent Ezzati to jail for six months.

As part of her appeal, Ezzati argued that the sentence was punitive and that the judge failed to consider her prospects for rehabilitation.

She claims she was abused as a teenager and violently assaulted in Ireland in 2016. She was also the victim of “another very serious assault” in Canada in 2017.

Ezzati said those experiences haunted her during the short period she was in custody between the time Gropper first sent her to jail and her release awaiting the outcome of an appeal.

“She says she was placed in an observation cell on suicide watch for 72 hours. She was stripped of her clothes and separated. She says this experience triggered traumatic memories of having been forcibly locked up and violently assaulted in the past,” Fitch wrote in the appellate court. decision.

“[Ezzati] says she has recurring nightmares about the prospect of being jailed again. “

But Fitch also noted that Ezzati failed to provide any evidence of her alleged treatment in the hands of correctional officials. And she “has been found untrustworthy. She has previously been shown to lie in court.”

And then there was the junk dentist

Ezzati had wanted the appellate court’s judges to impose a 12-month suspended sentence that would have allowed her to make her time at home – instead of at the Alouette Correctional Center for Women in Maple Ridge.

But Fitch said harsh imprisonment was justified. The question was how much?

The rogue statistician dentist David Wu ran a dental clinic from his suburban home on the lower mainland. Authorities warned his clients about the dirty conditions. Wu was sentenced to three months for contempt of court.

The judges said the closest comparison was the saga of the Abbotsford woman who called herself “Dr. Lipjob.”

Rajdeep Kaur Khakh used a forged license to procure supplies, signed a legal pledge promising she would not call herself a “doctor,” and then continued to inject at Botox parties despite a contempt of court ruling. .

She was eventually sentenced to two 30-day prison sentences and put on probation for two years.

Fitch also cited the cases of two unauthorized dentists who were prosecuted by BC’s College of Dental Surgeons for operating out of their homes.

David Wu made headlines in 2013 after Fraser Health warned hundreds of Wu clients about the possibility of infection from the “dirty” condition at his bedroom-based clinic.

The rogue dentist fled the province to Ontario after being found in contempt of court, triggering a manhunt across the country.

He was later brought back to BC, where he was sentenced to three months in prison in 2013 – the longest of its kind until Ezzati’s original sentence.

Fitch said the behavior in question is “relatively rare,” making it difficult to determine the correct sentence. Still, he said six months is a lot – especially considering that Ezzati’s first sentence was $ 5,000.

In addition to reducing the sentence to three months, the judges also requested that the warden of the prison be aware of Ezzati’s allegations of her alleged abuse the first time she was placed behind bars.

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