CALGARY – Convicted torturer Dustin Paxton will learn on Halloween whether the Crown will seek to have him declared a dangerous offender.
Lawyers for both sides appeared in Court of Queen's Bench Thursday to confirm a psychiatric assessment on Paxton would be completed on time.
Crown prosecutor Joe Mercier said staff at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre ( SAFPC) had completed examining Paxton and he's been returned to the Calgary Remand Centre.
Mercier said doctors and other personnel will now have to complete their report on whether Paxton meets the criteria for either a dangerous offender, or long-term offender application.
The prosecutor also told Judge Sheilah Martin that a social worker involved in the assessment wants to go to Victoria to speak to Paxton's victim, his former roommate.
Paxton was convicted in February of aggravated assault and sexual assault for repeated acts of abuse and degradation he inflicted on his one-time roommate in Calgary and Regina.
Mercier said SAFPC officials have asked that the Crown's office cover the cost of flying the social worker to the B.C. capital to interview the man, who can't be identified.
Defence lawyer Jim Lutz said while it was preferable SAFPC pay for the transportation, he did not oppose the expense being covered by the Crown's office.
Psychologist Dr. Marc Nesca, who has been involved in many dangerous offender assessment cases, said while it's routine for staff to interview victims, it's usually done by phone.
"It's routine, it's done all the time," Nesca said outside court.
Nesca said while "interviewing victims is dangerous because they may have an axe to grind," assessments account for potential bias.
The assessment on Paxton is to be completed by Oct. 15 and sent to lawyers for both sides.
Mercier has until Oct. 31 to decide if the Crown will seek ministerial permission to proceed with a dangerous offender, or long-term offender application.
If not, Paxton's case will proceed to sentencing without such a hearing.
Paxton remains in custody pending the outcome of his matter.
On Twitter: @SUNKevinMartin