LARRY DANIEL CLAYTON
By Steve Bruce, The Chronicle Hearald – Aug 9, 2012
A Cole Harbour man with a history of abusing women has been ordered to spend another year in jail for his latest offences.
Larry Daniel Clayton, 48, was found guilty in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax in June of unlawful confinement, assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats.
The charges stemmed from a July 2010 incident involving an 18-year-old woman Clayton had been dating for about eight months.
Justice Kevin Coady accepted the testimony of the victim, now 20, that Clayton confined her in his vehicle one night, hit her in the face twice and threatened to beat her with a metal pole that he had in the car, just like he’d assaulted another woman for not listening to him.
But the judge acquitted Clayton on charges of sexually assaulting the same woman and forcing her to have anal sex, both from an August 2010 encounter in his car.
Clayton, who was on remand at the Dartmouth jail for almost two years, was back before Coady recently for sentencing.
Crown attorney Rick Woodburn recommended that Clayton, who has 25 other convictions since 1982, be locked up for another 18 months, followed by three years of probation.
“Mr. Clayton’s record is terrible,” Woodburn told the court.
“His specialty is hurting people – especially women.”
The victim, whose identity is banned from publication because of the sex charges, now has a hard time trusting men, the prosecutor said.
The young woman hopes Clayton changes his ways but doubts he will, Woodburn said.
The Crown attorney urged the judge to protect the public from Clayton and send a message that those who perpetrate domestic violence will be dealt with harshly.
Defence lawyer Gordon Blackmore argued for a sentence of time served plus two years’ probation.
“On paper, it looks as though Larry is merely a career criminal beyond redemption,” Blackmore said. “It is respectfully submitted that this is not the case.
“Larry has asked for but has never received counselling for his anger and violence issues. … Larry is eager to benefit from learning the skills required to live a non-violent and anger-free life.”
Given an opportunity to address the court, Clayton said: “It seems to me that everything falls on my past. I’m continued to be judged on my past. How do I have a future?”
The judge said he recognized what Clayton was saying about his past dragging him down but added, “That is a reality.”
Coady said the offences warranted a global sentence of four years behind bars. He gave Clayton three years’ credit for his remand time, leaving him one year to serve.
Clayton will be on probation for 30 months when he gets out of jail, with conditions that he not have any contact with the victim or her family and that he take part in counselling sessions for mental health, anger management and violence intervention.
The judge also ordered Clayton to provide a sample of his DNA for a national databank and prohibited him from possessing weapons for the rest of his life.
Clayton got out of prison in January 2007 after serving all six years of a sentence for aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, uttering threats and breaching a court order. In that case, he was found guilty of throwing hydrochloric acid in the face of his ex-girlfriend’s father.
The National Parole Board refused to grant parole to Clayton, saying his risk for “general violence, spousal assault and sexual violent recidivism fell in the high range.”
In 1993, Clayton was sentenced to 4½ years in prison for six prostitution-related offences involving two runaways. The girls were 13 and 14 when he offered them a drive and then forced them into prostitution. He took them to his sister’s residence, where they were taught how to dress, how to act and what prices to charge. One night, he had sex with them at a hotel.
At sentencing, a judge said Clayton’s activities were the “nearest form of slavery in the ’90s.”
In 1986, Clayton got a five-year sentence for a pair of sexual assaults.