Calgary judge to determine if torturer Dustin Paxton is dangerous offender - InfoNews

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Calgary judge to determine if torturer Dustin Paxton is dangerous offender

Dustin Paxton is shown in a Calgary Police handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Calgary Police
December 19, 2013 - 1:00 AM

CALGARY - A convicted torturer is to hear from a judge today whether he could potentially spend the rest of his days in prison.

Dustin Paxton, 33, was convicted in February 2012 of aggravated and sexual assault for the prolonged and brutal abuse of a man who was his friend and roommate.

The man was dropped off, near death, at a Regina hospital in April 2010. He was emaciated, battered and bleeding.

The Crown wants Paxton declared a dangerous offender so he can be kept in prison for an indeterminate period of time. However, it has also submitted that if the judge wants to fix a sentence, it should be in the 15- to 18-year range with 2-for-1 credit for his time in custody.

Paxton's lawyer has recommended a six- to eight-year sentence — minus six years of credit for time served.

If Justice Sheilah Martin rejects the dangerous offender application, Paxton could still be designated a long-term offender with a set prison sentence followed by up to 10 years of supervision under strict conditions.

The victim delivered an emotional impact statement, describing his life after the abuse, at Paxton's sentencing arguments in October in Calgary Court of Queen's Bench.

He told court he has post-traumatic stress disorder and brain damage from the 18 months he was humiliated, starved, beaten and sexually assaulted on an almost-daily basis while living with Paxton in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

"There is a big question mark hanging over my head 24-7,'' said the man, whose identity is protected by a court order. "I have to live in a perpetual state of confusion and fear. I want to make sure nobody else ever has to suffer like me.''

Speaking slowly from the witness stand, with his two sisters at his side for support, the victim detailed how he has had several surgeries aimed at reconstructing his face. He said there are many more operations in his future.

"Before the assaults, I was extremely good-looking and very attractive to women and now I am disfigured,'' he said. "I have an incurable traumatic brain injury because of the assaults, which I will have for the rest of my life.''

He said he has trouble sleeping, suffers anxiety and is unable to hold a job. He also has trouble with his balance, can't swallow properly and has to drink through a straw because he lost some of his lip during the prolonged ordeal. His ribs were broken and his bowel ruptured.

Paxton's trial heard how the smallest things, such as leftovers in the fridge, would provoke him to attack. The victim testified that 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 had started.

Paxton addressed the court at the end of sentencing arguments, but offered no apology.

"I'm working with these experts who are working to make me a better person,'' he said. "I will remain fully committed to a regime of counselling and programming that is essential to my rehabilitation.''

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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