Man gets seven years for role in beat­ing death

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - CITY+REGION - BRE McA­DAM bm­cadam@post­media.com twit­ter.com/ breezy­bremc

As he lay dy­ing alone on a dark coun­try road, Pa­trick Dong must have spent his fi­nal mo­ments in “sheer ter­ror,” a Saska­toon Queen’s Bench judge ob­served.

Jus­tice Ger­ald Allbright had just heard that Dong, 37, was dragged into a truck and driven five kilo­me­tres south­west of Saska­toon, cry­ing and plead­ing with his cap­tors the en­tire way.

Their in­ten­tion was to beat Dong and leave him on the city’s out­skirts, ac­cord­ing to the Crown’s facts. Instead, he was hit on the head with a me­tal ob­ject, stabbed six times in the leg and bled to death.

On Fri­day, court heard the bru­tal­ity was over a meth-in­duced be­lief that Dong stole prop­erty from peo­ple he had been us­ing drugs with — some­thing Dong de­nied through­out his ab­duc­tion and as­sault.

Three peo­ple were charged with first-de­gree mur­der. One of them, 27-year-old Claude Louis Gau­thier, pleaded guilty to man­slaugh­ter for his role in Dong’s death. His charges of kid­nap­ping and un­law­ful con­fine­ment were stayed.

Gau­thier ad­mit­ted driv­ing Dong out to the RM of Cor­man Park and sit­ting inside his ve­hi­cle dur­ing the as­sault. When Dong tried to run away, Gau­thier trapped him with his truck.

Some­one stum­bled upon Dong ’s body the next day on Oct. 23, 2016. He was sur­rounded by tire tracks and foot­prints, pros­e­cu­tor Michael Pilon said.

Po­lice charged Gau­thier in June 2017 af­ter con­duct­ing sev­eral in­ter­views and match­ing the tire tracks to Gau­thier’s tires.

Allbright sen­tenced Gau­thier to seven years in prison, ac­cept­ing a joint sub­mis­sion from the Crown and de­fence.

Gau­thier was or­dered to have no con­tact with his two co-ac­cused, who have elected Queen’s Bench tri­als.

De­fence lawyer Kevin Hill said his client didn’t re­al­ize the ex­tent of what was hap­pen­ing to Dong be­cause he was on a “year­long meth binge” and hadn’t slept for 21 days, caus­ing a psy­chosis that clouded his per­spec­tive on re­al­ity.

Hill said since his ar­rest, Gau­thier has thought about his role in killing Dong — some­one he con­sid­ered a friend — al­most ev­ery day.

“I didn’t in­tend for any of this to hap­pen,” Gau­thier told Dong ’s fam­ily, who were in court.

Pilon said the fam­ily saw no point in sub­mit­ting vic­tim im­pact state­ments be­cause it wouldn’t bring Dong back.

Be­fore out­lin­ing the case’s dis­turb­ing de­tails, Pilon said this crime is yet an­other ex­am­ple of the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of crys­tal meth.

Allbright agreed this crime wouldn’t have hap­pened with­out the “dark cloud” of meth.

“It’s a dif­fer­ent par­a­digm as to what is re­al­ity, what’s fair and what’s log­i­cal,” Allbright said.

It’s a dif­fer­ent par­a­digm as to what is re­al­ity, what’s fair and what’s log­i­cal. JUS­TICE GER­ALD ALLBRIGHT

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