Canada: Judge hands teen mastermind of bizarre downtown kidnapping 9-year adult sentence - PressFrom - Canada
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CanadaJudge hands teen mastermind of bizarre downtown kidnapping 9-year adult sentence

23:05  22 may  2019
23:05  22 may  2019 Source:   thestar.com

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Judge hands teen mastermind of bizarre downtown kidnapping 9-year adult sentence © Provided by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited A wooden carving, left, left that a teen victim was beaten with while he was held for ransom during an April 2016 kidnapping. Earlier this week, Thai-Shay Gordon, right, was sentenced as an adult to nine years in prison on kidnapping and drug trafficking charges in the case.

A judge has handed a now-21-year-old man a nine-year adult sentence for drug dealing and his role as the teen mastermind behind a bizarre kidnapping that began at a party in a downtown Toronto short-term rental unit three years ago.

The ruling means the young man — who was three weeks shy of his 18th birthday during the April 2016 kidnapping — can now be identified as Thai-Shay Gordon.

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Gordon was grim-faced when Superior Court Justice Anne Molloy said she was agreeing to a request by prosecutor Liz Nadeau to sentence him as an adult. Nadeau argued a youth sentence would not be of sufficient length to hold Gordon accountable for the offences.

“He was the organizer and primary leader of a serious crime of violence” and an “instigator of brutality,” Molloy wrote in her 23-page judgment released Tuesday.

The trouble began at a party at 300 Front St. inside a condo unit Gordon rented under a fake name. He paid cash at a time when he was blowing about $4,000 a month on cars, renting luxury suites and expensive liquor, according to the judge’s decision.

The hallways of the condo building erupted in gunfire when uninvited members of a Queen’s Drive gang showed up at the party, which was attended by Gordon and his associates from the rival Driftwood and Lawrence Heights neighbourhoods.

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Gordon blamed two 16-year-old boys for disclosing the party’s location to the crashers. He and his associates then held the pair hostage, demanding ransom. The bizarre kidnapping, which unfolded over several days at various locations in High Park and Lawrence Heights, included forced sex acts and a game of Russian roulette. The teen captives were pistol-whipped, burned with hot knives, beaten with a wooden fish carving and tortured.

In her sentencing ruling, Molloy summarized Gordon’s impoverished background from a variety of reports. He was one of five children raised by a single mother and her family in Lawrence Heights after his father was shot and killed when he was 3. After dropping out of high school, Gordon was “immersed in the criminal lifestyle,” Molloy wrote. His nickname on the street was “Pistol,” he had multiple cellphones and used false identification to obtain a credit card.

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Gordon’s mother denies any knowledge of his involvement in criminal gang activity “and maintains that, but for ... (Gordon’s) kind and loving nature, the other people involved in the kidnapping would have killed the victim,” Molloy wrote in her ruling. However, the woman “is not a reliable source for anything” and will perhaps even lie outright to assist her son, she wrote.

The judge added Gordon’s mother would be “a completely ineffectual as a source of influence or supervision” if he was released on community supervision, which would have been the case soon if she had sentenced him as a youth. Gordon’s defence lawyer, Douglas Holt, argued an appropriate sentence would be an additional two years in custody followed by a year of community supervision.

Explaining why an adult sentence is required, Molloy noted two accomplices, Rushine Rowe and Lincoln Richards, were both 18 at that time of the kidnapping. They were charged and sentenced as adults.

Nevertheless, it was Gordon who “was the leader, the organizer, the one who took care of the transport, the one who conducted the negotiations for the ransom, and the one who collected the ransom money. He was the primary person at the heart of the operation.”

At the time of his arrest, Gordon was found with 9.5 grams of heroin or fentanyl, 7.85 grams of crack cocaine and $1,900 in cash.

In his statement to the court at his sentencing hearing in March, Gordon said he promised to “continue on a positive path and contribute to society upon my release.” He also asked for forgiveness from his victims and families.

The judge gave Gordon, who has been in custody for three years, 4.5 years of pretrial credit, leaving him with four-and-a-half years left to serve in federal prison.

Betsy Powell is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and courts. Follow her on Twitter: @powellbetsy

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