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Witness recalls healthy, happy man

Year later, victim 'a pile of bones'

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Dustin Paxton: accused of torture

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Free Press archives Dustin Paxton: accused of torture (CP)

CALGARY -- The battered man dumped off at a Regina hospital in April 2010 by Dustin Paxton looked like a "pile of bones on a bed," according to a friend who had partied with him a year before.

When Lynn Ness slept at the men's Calgary rental home a year before the victim was taken to hospital, the man was healthy and happy to drink beer around the backyard bonfire in April 2009, she said.

But a year later, it was a different story.

"He didn't look at all the same. He was a pile of bones on a bed," said Ness, 26, of the man who only weighed 90 pounds when he was hospitalized.

Paxton, 31, is accused of sexual assault, aggravated assault and unlawful confinement.

Ness, an administrative assistant who had a "romantic friendship" with the victim after meeting him at a Winnipeg party a decade ago, testified Wednesday about her brief stay overnight with the men in April 2009.

During her visit, she took more than 250 photographs and posted them on her Facebook page.

In most of them, the victim appears healthy and smiling with Ness and co-worker Abe Chutta.

There were no pictures of Paxton, who was inside the home at the time.

Ness said her stay was "awkward" because the last time she encountered Paxton he threatened to bomb her house during a phone call, she said.

"He told me to turn down the music and I turned it up," she said.

Ness, who described the relationship as "not exclusive," visited the man in hospital, rehab and once at his new Victoria home.

Earlier on Wednesday, a Regina forensic crime scene investigator testified he had the delicate task of photographing the injuries of the torture victim as he lay unconscious and hooked up to a ventilator in hospital.

Const. Scott Duncan placed rulers next to bruises and abrasions along the 27-year-old man's battered body hours after he was dropped off at a Regina hospital in April 2010.

The injured man, whose name is protected by a publication ban, was hooked up to a ventilator in the intensive care unit.

Most of his lower lip was missing.

Bruises and marks covered the man's entire body, including abrasions on his penis, Duncan testified Wednesday in Court of Queen's Bench.

Four weeks after the injured man appeared in hospital, police raided Paxton's apartment on May 18, armed with a search warrant.

They were looking for blood, sticks, any instruments of confinement, Duncan told Crown prosecutor Joe Mercier.

Stains on the bedroom carpet and the underside of the mattress were swabbed to test for the presence of iron, which is found in blood.

They showed a weak positive, Duncan said.


-- Postmedia News

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