Calgary

Victim declined escape, Paxton torture trial hears

A man who worked with Dustin Paxton and the man he is accused of confining and assaulting testified in court that the alleged victim looked like he was beaten up on a daily basis.

A man who worked with Dustin Paxton and the man he is accused of confining and assaulting testified in court that the alleged victim looked like he was beaten up on a daily basis.  

Lloyd Youngblut, who worked as a driver for Paxton’s moving company from late 2009 to early 2010, was the latest to testify at the Calgary-based trial.

Paxton, 31, is charged with forcible confinement, aggravated assault and sexual assault of a 27-year-old man, who was his employee and roommate.

The latest witness to testify in the torture trial of accused Dustin Paxton, shown in this court sketch, says he offered the victim a place to stay, but was turned down. (Courtesy Sharon Sargent)

The man, who once weighed 200 pounds, was dropped off at a Regina hospital in April 2010 — disfigured, suffering broken bones and brain damage — weighing only 87 pounds, according to police.

Youngblut, 29, said he often saw Paxton punch, kick and verbally abuse the man.

Paxton, said Youngblut, blamed the man for everything. On one occasion, a customer called to cancel a job and Paxton put the man's head through a wall, he testified.

Youngblut said he offered the man a place to stay but his offer was refused.

"He wouldn't give me a straight answer why, he just said he didn't want to. I assumed it was because he was scared of Mr. Paxton," he testified.

Scharie Tavcer, an associate professor in the Department of Justice Studies at Mount Royal University, said those preyed on in abusive relationships may stick around for a multitude of reasons — they may have intimate feelings for the abuser, they may share a mortgage, or have a company together.

"We need to understand the confines of that abusive relationship. There are so many layers going on including brainwashing, including fear – 'If you tell anyone, I will kill the dog,'" said Tavcer, in an interview with CBC News.

Tavcer said those that abuse may suffer from sadist or anti-social tendencies.

"There are abusers who do not have personality disorders but are simply people who have learned to use anger and aggression to get their needs met. To express their emotions — learned behaviour."

Another former employee of Paxton's was scheduled to testify Thursday but did not show up.

The Crown has said it plans to call 50 witnesses in the trial, which is set to last five weeks. Paxton's alleged victim is expected to take the stand in mid-October.

A publication ban prohibits naming him or other witnesses that could lead to identifying him.

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