Pubdate: Wed, 08 Nov 2006
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Adrienne Tanner, Vancouver Sun


Crack House Operator Jailed for Sending a 'Message'

PRINCE GEORGE - Crack house operator Scott Brian Payne sent a 
terrorizing message to his drug dealers after one came up $178 short 
on payment for a load of crack cocaine.

He chopped a finger off the man in arrears and put it in a box, 
apparently for display.

Details of that brutal act in November 2004, and others, are 
contained in a judgement by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Glen Parrett, 
who sentenced the 24-year-old Payne to eight years in jail. Details 
of the judgement were posted on the Supreme Court website Tuesday.

In another act of extortion, Payne stood by while an associate 
exacted revenge on another dealer, who was $300 short on a drug 
payment. That time the weapon of choice was a medieval-style battle axe.

The September 2005 attack left the victim with significant head 
wounds, the court judgement states.

In his judgement, Justice Glen Parrett condemned the tactics.

"These individuals and their organization ... have openly cultivated 
an atmosphere and a reputation for extreme violence."

Members of the Prince George drug gang, calling themselves The Crew, 
spoke openly about the punishment exacted on associates who didn't 
pay on time, Parrett said.

"The discussions of violence and the trophies they take, in the form 
of fingers and videos, appear to be the means by which they strive to 
maintain discipline and control of their organization," he said.

Parrett took Payne's childhood into account when deciding on an 
appropriate sentence.

Abandoned by his mother at age five, Payne was left in the care of 
his father, a "brutal and violent" man who has been in and out of 
Canadian and American jails all his life.

"At the age of eight, this accused was apparently apprehended off the 
streets, where he was struggling to survive," Parrett writes.

He never got past Grade 10.

"Life for this young man has been, in a very real sense, a struggle 
for survival, where being tough and taking advantage of people and 
situations was for him a necessity," the judgement states.

Payne's criminal record reflects his violent lifestyle. He has a 
number of assault and weapons charges, the judge noted.

Ultimately, however, Parrett did not let his sympathy for Payne trump 
public safety. He sentenced Payne to eight years for the aggravated 
assault and ordered that the two lesser extortion sentences be served 

In parting, Parrett told Payne: "I feel very sorry for you, Mr. 
Payne, because it is an unenviable background which left you little option."
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