‘Human hunter’ given seven months for chasing couple with machete

‘I’m of the view his safe reintegration into the community is a relevant objective’

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An ex-paramedic who told a couple he was a “human-hunter” before menacing them with a machete has been handed a seven-month sentence.

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Owain Wyn Jones, 54, was also ordered to serve two years probation for the incident that occurred on a remote forestry road west of Sundre on Sept. 18, 2020.

Provincial Court Judge Ken McLeod had already found Jones guilty in January of two counts each of assault and intimidation, and one of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose.

He was also convicted of obstructing a police officer in an incident on Nov. 2, 2020, in which he had to be pulled from his vehicle by Mounties.

McLeod acquitted Jones of additional assault and intimidation charges involving the couple’s two young boys who were in the back of their vehicle when Jones approached with a machete, finding there was insufficient evidence he knew the children were present.

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Grayson Short and Morgan Allen came across Jones that afternoon on a roadway on Crown land.

Short testified he was driving with Allen and their two sons when they came upon a log barricade with a truck parked behind it.

When he sought to see why the road was blocked, Short told court “just as I looked up . . . the owner of the vehicle stepped out . . . dragging a machete by his side.”

Short testified he told Jones he was hoping to do some hunting when the accused replied, “I’m hunting humans.”

That led a frightened Short to back up his vehicle and beat a retreat, with a machete-wielding Jones chasing after him and his family.

McLeod said the crime had a traumatic effect on the family, “particularly on Ms. Allen, and it did have the effect of compelling the family to leave the area.”

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He said at least one of the couple’s children was also affected “to some extent” by the experience.

Because Jones has been in remand since the fall of 2020 he won’t have to serve any more time, but the two years’ probation was something the accused had opposed as excessive and “piling on,” noted McLeod.

But the judge said two psychiatric assessments conducted last year point to substance-abuse problems and post-traumatic stress resulting from Jones’ paramedic career.

“It appears Mr. Jones encountered some very challenging circumstances during his time as a paramedic that obviously had an impact,” said McLeod, as Jones sat in the prisoner’s box with a bandage over a swollen left eye.

“I found (Jones’ actions and mindset) threatening from a legal sense but also unusual.”

And although he can’t be forced to undergo treatment for those problems, the judge said he hopes Jones will use the probation time to do just that.

“I’m of the view his safe reintegration into the community is a relevant objective,” said McLeod, who noted Jones has no prior criminal record.

“There are some long-standing issues Mr. Jones needs to deal with.”

Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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