ALBERTA

Dustin Paxton High Risk To Reoffend, Hard To Treat: Crown

10/15/2013 01:17 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
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CALGARY - The Crown at a dangerous offender hearing for convicted torturer Dustin Paxton argued Tuesday that he is a high risk to reoffend and difficult to treat.

In her final sentencing arguments, Julie Morgan told a Calgary courtroom that Paxton has shown a pattern of violence that stretches back years and is always the same.

"He is unable to control his anger," she said.

"He gets angry and frustrated over minor disagreements. The victims are known to him. He uses threats and physicality ... he manipulates, belittles and controls his victims."

Paxton, 33, was found guilty in February 2012 of aggravated and sexual assault against his former business partner and roommate after a man was found dumped at a Regina hospital in 2010 near death — badly emaciated, bruised, broken and bleeding.

The Crown wants Paxton to be kept in prison for an indeterminate period of time as a dangerous offender, but if the judge wanted to fix a set sentence, it should be in the 15 to 18-year range, Morgan said.

She noted Paxton would be eligible for 2-for-1 credit for his time already in custody.

If the judge rejects the dangerous offender designation, Paxton could alternately be designated a long-term offender with a set prison sentence followed by 10 years of supervision under strict conditions.

Morgan said Paxton has exhibited a "substantial degree of indifference" to the welfare of his victims and any treatment of his behaviour will be a slow and difficult process.

"We need to look at his future treatment possibilities. It has to be more than an expression of hope," she said.

"This offender will likely pose a threat in the future."

She said Paxton misled the court in the past by faking symptoms of schizophrenia.

"He faked the symptoms to fool others. He attempted to manipulate the system to avoid repercussions," Morgan said. "This offender cannot be trusted at all. He's going to be a challenge."

Morgan said a number of reports all came to the same conclusion. He is "a high risk to reoffend — difficult to treat."

During the trial Paxton's victim testified that he was starved, humiliated and beaten on an almost-daily basis.

He told court he took the abuse because he didn't want to look like "a sissy'' and had dreams of making big money in the business he and Paxton started.

"I was in survival mode,'' the man testified. "I would do anything not to get beaten.''

He said the attacks would happen over the smallest things, such as leftovers in the fridge.

"I was beat up with a two-by-four that broke every one of my ribs and ruptured my bowel. He probably hit me 25 times. He was hitting me in all different ways. I was standing there and I had to let him hit me.''

Morgan cited a number of aggravating factors including that Paxton and his main victim were essentially in a relationship and that "sex acts were used as weapons."

She said she was unable to find any mitigating factors in Paxton's favour due to his continued lack of remorse and callousness of the crimes against his victims.

"Words can't do justice as to what was done to the victim in this case," she said.

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