A case of ‘rage and re­venge’

Busi­ness­man fa­tally shoots dog that at­tacked his own pet

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME -

A “well-re­spected” 79-yearold busi­ness­man has been sentenced to house arrest af­ter hunt­ing down and fa­tally shoot­ing a dog in re­venge for at­tack­ing his pet.

Ge­orge Payne had no crim­i­nal record be­fore he shot the dog, named Sammy, twice in tiny Par­son’s Pond, as chil­dren played nearby, on May 11, 2017.

Sammy had at­tacked Payne’s dog, Trooper, ac­cord­ing to a newly re­leased rul­ing from pro­vin­cial court in Cor­ner Brook.

Payne left his house, bor­rowed his son’s .22 cal­i­bre ri­fle and un­der­took what the prose­cu­tor called “vig­i­lante jus­tice.”

“Mr. Payne walked through a res­i­den­tial neigh­bour­hood with a loaded ri­fle. He stopped next to a shed, which was lo­cated close to a res­i­den­tial prop­erty and other res­i­dences. He fired two shots. There were chil­dren play­ing in the area,” Judge Wayne Gor­man said in his rul­ing.

“Mr. Payne was not act­ing pur­suant to a colour of right or a le­gal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. He was not de­fend­ing him­self or his prop­erty. He set out to kill Sammy as an act of re­venge and did so.”

Payne was con­victed of two firearms charges and of in­jur­ing a dog. Gor­man or­dered a six-month con­di­tional sen­tence — house arrest — and 19 months’ pro­ba­tion.

The judge said Payne op­er­ated a gen­eral store as well as a con­struc­tion com­pany, and has a his­tory of com­mu­nity vol­un­teerism. One char­ac­ter ref­er­ence called him “a good­na­tured in­di­vid­ual with a calm de­meanor,” and an­other said he was “hon­est, hard­work­ing and very re­li­able.”

The West­ern Star re­ported in May that Sammy had at­tacked Trooper pre­vi­ously, and killed an­other of Payne’s dogs.

Gor­man said his sen­tence must em­pha­size de­ter­rence and de­nun­ci­a­tion.

“Sammy was a fam­ily pet and the emo­tional at­tach­ment of in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies to such an­i­mals should not be un­der­es­ti­mated,” the judge said.

“I must con­sider that Mr. Payne ob­tained and pos­sessed a firearm that he knew was il­le­gal for him to pos­sess; he shot and killed a fam­ily’s dog out of rage and re­venge; and he en­dan­gered chil­dren play­ing in the area.”

But, he said, Payne did not pose a con­tin­u­ing dan­ger to the pub­lic and could serve his jail term in the com­mu­nity. He must re­main in­side his home ex­cept for two hours ev­ery af­ter­noon, or for med­i­cal or den­tal treat­ment or with per­mis­sion.

He must also pay resti­tu­tion of $1,877, and has been banned from own­ing guns for five years. Gor­man did not, how­ever, ban Payne from own­ing an­i­mals.

“He has no his­tory of vi­o­lent or dan­ger­ous be­hav­iour. I view what oc­curred, though of great grav­ity, as an iso­lated in­ci­dent by an oth­er­wise law-abid­ing cit­i­zen,” said the judge.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.