Meth possession and a flaming roll of TP lead to seven months in jail

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Sarnia Courthouse

Bail breaches, meth possession and a flaming roll of toilet paper added up to seven months in jail for a Sarnia man.

Ayden Payne, 25, plead guilty to eight charges on July 3. The most serious of these came from a June evening this year when tried to set fire to a Christina St. home.

Payne had been arrested just a week earlier for visiting a person he was required to stay away from since 2018. He was asking for money.

After he was released from jail, Payne went to the home of a woman he knew and kicked the door so hard it came off the hinges. Payne left, but came back later that night the woman let him in.

Things turned sour when Payne began to do drugs. He was asked to leave but lit a roll of toilet paper on fire and throwing it into the house. Payne then shattered all the glass panels of the front door before leaving. 

Payne returned to the house around 2 am. The woman called police and officers found Payne upstairs doing drugs. He was arrested and charged with mischief and possessing meth.

Payne plead guilty to several other breaches of bail along with another meth possession charge. 

“His record is full of breaches,” says Crown attorney Melanie Nancekievill. “Clearly Mr. Payne has challenges for a number of reasons to comply with court orders.”

Defense lawyer Nick Cake showed that Payne had not experienced legal problems until late 2018 following a break-up. Cake said it was after the relationship ended that Payne became addicted to meth. 

“He has a record that is full of offenses that are common to people struggling with addiction, and with the things that come along with it,” says Cake. 

“Mr. Payne is someone who realizes he needs the help, he just struggles with getting himself the health care,” Cake says.

Referencing the seven month sentence, and the year-and-a-half Payne has remaining on his probation, Cake says “There is a lot of time available for Mr. Payne to use the resources available to him through the probation office in hopes of getting on top of that addiction.”

Justice Krista Leszczynski agreed with the joint submission of a seven month term. “What is aggravating with respect to the failure to attend court and the failure to comply with your probation is your criminal record which demonstrates a long and consistent record of disregarding court orders,” says the judge. “So the sentence in this case… is appropriate to denounce and deter you from continuing to disregard such court orders.”

But she added that Payne finally seemed to be headed in the right direction. “You’ve plead guilty to these offenses and that is an indication you’re taking responsibility for your actions and that you have some remorse for your conduct.”

Payne will have 139 days left to serve after receiving credit for pre-sentence custody. He will remain on his existing parole until December 2021. Payne will also have to pay $360 to repair the door he broke.