Gregory Ailles at a 2012 court appearance in Penticton.

Gregory Ailles at a 2012 court appearance in Penticton.

Judge declines dangerous offender status for man convicted of ‘savage’ beating

Gregory Ailles instead sentenced to two years at psychiatric prison facility for 2008 attack on his grandparents in their Penticton home

Citing a lack of proof of a pattern of violent behaviour, a judge on Friday ruled against applying dangerous offender status to a man convicted of a “savage” assault on his grandparents at their Penticton home.

Gregory Logan Ailles, 39, was convicted a year ago on six counts stemming from the December 2008 incident that left his then-75-year-old grandfather, Grant, blind and confined to a wheelchair.

The Crown applied to have Ailles labelled a dangerous offender, which comes with an indeterminate jail sentence, or a long-term offender, which allows for a 10-year probationary period after release from jail.

However, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames ruled the attack did not bear the hallmarks of one perpetrated by a dangerous offender and that Ailles’ criminal history did not demonstrate a pattern of repetitive, violent behaviour.

Beames then sentenced Ailles to an additional two years in prison at a Lower Mainland facility that specializes in psychiatric care, followed by three years’ probation.

“Mr. Ailles, it’s apparent to me you are an intelligent man, very articulate, who is troubled or has been troubled in the past by psychological or psychiatric issues, and continues to be troubled by substance abuse,” Beames said.

She implored him to “do what you need to do to return to who you were prior to the age of 31; that is, a functioning and productive member of society.”

In her reasons for judgment, Beames said Ailles’ first known criminal activity was in 2004 when he fired three gunshots into a home in an undisclosed community that “harmed the victim in a significant way.” He was convicted of that offence in 2006 and sentenced to a further two years in jail plus time served.

His next set of charges stemmed from the assault at his grandparents’ home. During trial, court heard Ailles beat his grandfather with a metal pipe and his fists, punched his grandmother in the face, then tied them both with electrical cords and drove off with their car and three guns.

He was arrested two days later in Vancouver and has been in jail since. While incarcerated, he was convicted of three assaults on prison guards and a doctor.

Beames said the Crown admitted at the dangerous offender hearing that it failed to prove a pattern of repetitive, violent behaviour and asked that he be designated based “only on the brutal nature of the attack.”

She ruled, however, that although Ailles administered “a savage and vicious” beating to an elderly man in his own home, it wasn’t severe enough to warrant the special treatment.

The judge also noted that while two psychiatrists determined Ailles is a high risk to reoffend violently if he doesn’t manage his mental-health issues, anti-psychotic drugs have helped him in the past and he has more recently “been relatively stable and coping in his current correctional situation.”

Ailles, who wore red prison garb and shackles on his ankles, showed no emotion in court Friday. Just two reporters and a victim services worker were present for the decision.