Judge ignores sentence recommendation from both sides on assaults, head shavings - InfoNews

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Judge ignores sentence recommendation from both sides on assaults, head shavings

July 16, 2014 - 12:24 PM

KAMLOOPS – Wearing a green sweater in the prisoner's dock, a Kamloops woman met her sentence hearing Tuesday afternoon by crying long, hard silent sobs into a tissue.

Before Justice Ian Meiklem arrived to decide her fate, she and her mother told one another: “I love you.”

Meiklem handed Mary Lynn Dyson, 30, a three-year sentence for administering punishments for a local drug trafficking ring. Dyson assaulted several of her acquaintances for not paying drug debts or causing unnecessary attention to the gang. Her assaults on women often included head shavings. Dyson's charges, beyond the assaults, included unlawful confinement and breaking and entering.

RCMP discovered evidence of the assaults after arresting Dyson on drug trafficking charges in 2012. A search of her purse uncovered several memory cards. After executing a search warrant, police reviewed the cards which contained video clips of Dyson's attacks.

In an earlier hearing, her lawyer Chris Thompson told the court Dyson filmed her assaults as proof for her boss, who directed her to commit them.

Meiklem in his judgment quoted Dyson from the videos saying: “This is what I get paid to do by the heavy hitters.”

He reviewed Dyson’s lengthy criminal record and spoke of her history of abuse and drug addiction. Due to the family upset, Meiklem paused and asked Thompson if his client was prepared to hear her history of abuse in open court. 

Before Meiklem's arrival to the sentencing hearing, a frustrated Dyson spoke to her family from the prisoner's dock. She asked why her brother didn't attend her hearing.

“He’s mad at the newspaper, hey?” she said, referring to coverage of her sexual abuse as a child. “Pretty harsh what they said in there.... I don’t think that’s right.”

Thompson told Meiklem he could review Dyson's history at the hearing. He did so with a few brief pauses, the silence peppered with sobs from family and the sound of rosary beads Dyson’s sister held.

Meiklem spoke about the steps Dyson took towards rehabilitation in prison where she has enrolled in every program available to her in jail. He said if he imposed the Crown’s recommended sentence of four to eight years imprisonment it would be “counterproductive” to Dyson’s rehabilitation.

He agreed with an earlier statement from Crown prosecutor Sarah Firestone that the six-month jail sentence recommended by the defence was not enough for the crimes committed.

Before leaving the courtroom, Meiklem encouraged Dyson to continue with her rehabilitation.

Dyson will complete her sentence in provincial prison. With time credited she will serve two years and 102 days in jail. Once released she is prohibited from possessing weapons and is ordered to submit a DNA sample.

To contact a reporter for this story, email gbrothen@infotelnews.ca, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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