A Parson’s Pond man will have to resume the conditional sentence order imposed on him now that a Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court justice has dismissed an appeal of that sentence and of his conviction.
George Payne, 74, was convicted in provincial court in May 2018 of careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm without being the holder of a licence and injuring or endangering an animal.
The charges were laid after Payne shot a dog named Sammy in the community that he said had attacked his own dog in May 2017.
The evidence presented at his trial was that after his dog, Trooper, was injured by Sammy, Payne got a rifle from his son’s residence and walked through a residential neighbourhood with the loaded gun. He shot Sammy twice near homes, with children playing in the area. Sammy was taken to a veterinarian, but later died.
Judge Wayne Gorman sentenced Payne to a six-month conditional sentence, house arrest, in July, and Payne filed his appeal with the higher court in August.
He was granted bail, essentially putting his house arrest on hold, in October.
The appeal was heard by Justice Brian Furey in December.
The appeal argued there were insufficient facts to support a conviction, and the sentence was unduly harsh because while Payne did not possess a valid firearms licence, he was not prohibited from possessing a firearm at the time and he had previously been a valid licence holder. Payne’s age and health concerns were also presented.
On Thursday afternoon, Furey gave a summation of his decision.
He said Gorman’s written decisions on the conviction and sentencing of Payne were detailed and thorough.
After reviewing those decisions and the transcripts of the trial, he found that there was sufficient evidence to justify a conviction.
He also found that the sentence imposed was not demonstrably unfit in light of the range of sentence available for such convictions.
He ordered that the sentence imposed in July go back into effect.
Payne has about three months left to serve. After that he will be subject to a 19-month probation order.