By the time Mr. Preddy and his friends went down to the gym, Mr. Allen
and his associates had already arrived and taken over the weight pit,
where they had strategically arranged weight bars and baseball bats. Shawn
Preddy and his associates were armed mainly with knives. However, this
confrontation, what Mr. Preddy described as "a Mexican stand-off, because
everyone realized that if this was played out, it could end up as a blood
bath," had the desired result. Mr. Allen and Mr. Bellegarde were taken
to segregation with the other prisoners involved, and were kept there
when it was made clear to the administration that their presence in the
population would not be tolerated again.
The next time Shawn Preddy saw Gary Allen was over a year later, the
morning Mr. Allen was released from segregation on February 22, 1994.
In the courtyard after lunch that day, Mr. Preddy and his partner, Mike
Tyson, approached Mr. Allen, who was standing with his partner, Mark Biega.
Mr. Preddy and Mr. Allen did several laps around the courtyard, Mr. Preddy
making it clear that he would not put any road blocks in Mr. Allen's way
as long as Mr. Allen did not get into the "garbage" that had led to the
1992 incident. He also made it clear that he would not tolerate having
Mr. Allen in the same unit. At the end of the conversation the two men
shook hands and Mr. Preddy left the courtyard. Mr. Preddy testified that
he had tucked a knife inside his waistband before the meeting with Mr.
Allen, since he was fearful of what Mr. Allen might do if there was a
fight. Though he was 6'2" and was in the best physical condition of his
life, weighing 195 lbs. and regularly working out, Shawn Preddy doubted
whether he could take Gary Allen in a straight fight.
Shawn Preddy was asked how Gary Allen compared to other prisoners at
Kent, in terms of his potential danger to the public. Mr. Preddy prefaced
his remarks by saying, "Not everyone at Kent is dangerous but there are
many dangerous men." Mr. Preddy said that he would rate Gary Allen among
the most dangerous. Asked how he would rate Hughie MacDonald, he replied
that he did not see him as a dangerous man. Crown counsel put it to him
that Hughie MacDonald had two first-degree murder sentences on his record,
and surely, therefore must be viewed as dangerous. Mr. Preddy replied
that from a prisoner's perspective, how dangerous someone is "is measured
by your relationship with the person and what you can expect in your dealings
with that person." Preddy had never had any problems with Hughie MacDonald,
his reputation being that of an older prisoner doing his own time, and
therefore had no reason to think Mr. MacDonald would be dangerous in the
context of daily interaction.
From the moment the next witness, Dale Curran, came into the courtroom,
his presence was charged with the electric energy Gary Allen himself had
spoken about. Although he was half the size of Allen, in spirit and attitude
the two men were very similar. Unlike Allen, however, Dale Curran did
not seem to be speaking out of anger; rather, his experiences in prison
over a very long period of time had imprinted in him a way of seeing the
world, reflecting how he believed the world saw him. Mr. Curran was thirty-five
years old and had been on the street for only about thirty months since
1978. His youth was punctuated by stints in foster homes, group homes,
juvenile detention facilities, and then provincial and federal prisons.
He was a heroin addict with convictions for narcotic offences, breaking
and entering, robberies, and escapes. While on statutory release in 1994,
he spent nineteen months on the street, the longest continuous period
in almost twenty years. He then became readdicted and went to his parole
officer to turn himself in. His statutory release was suspended and he
was returned to Kent Institution.
Mr. Curran's evidence had the unmistakable footprint of a maximum security
prisoner, and his candour was almost alarming. He described how he and
Gary Allen became partners at Matsqui. Mr. Curran would have drugs sent
into the institution and would sell them to various prisoners, whose names
he would then give to Gary Allen. Mr. Allen would muscle those prisoners
for the drugs they had obtained and the drugs would be returned to Mr.
Curran for resale to other prisoners, with the proceeds split between
Mr. Allen and Mr. Curran. Of Gary Allen, Mr. Curran said, "Gary was an
enforcer. He liked weapons but he didn't need them."
Mr. Curran made it very clear that he had been willing to stand up for
his friend Gary Allen, no matter what. He testified that he knew Mr. Allen
had a beef with Mr. MacDonald and that Mr. Allen was going to settle the
score when he came out of segregation. When Mr. Curran heard that Mr.
Allen had been released from segregation, he went back to his unit, retrieved
a four-foot chain, placed it under his parka, returned to the courtyard
and offered the chain to Mr. Allen for use in his confrontation with Mr.
MacDonald. Mr. Allen showed Mr. Curran a shank made from a small kitchen
knife that had been sharpened and placed in a homemade handle. The blade
and the handle were each about four inches in length. When Mr. Allen told
Mr. Curran, "I'm going to seriously fuck him up," Mr. Curran responded
that he would need a bigger blade to carry out his intention. He took
the knife from Mr. Allen, and it was agreed that another prisoner, Ralph
Moore, would get Mr. Allen a bigger one.
Mr. Curran testified that he saw Mr. MacDonald come out of C unit and
walk over to Mr. Allen in the courtyard. Mr. Allen put out his hand as
if in a handshake and then sucker-punched Mr. MacDonald.
It's the oldest trick in the book. Gary offered to
shake his hand and then smoked him in the head and threw a couple of kicks
at him. Hughie fell and then pulled a knife. Gary grabbed him on the wrists
and he then slipped and went down. It looked like he was trying to toss
Hughie over his head. The next thing I see is Gary goes limp and I realize
my friend is down. As the bulls started to move in, I moved over to try
and retrieve Gary's knife but there was nothing there. It turned out that
Gary didn't have a knife. Ralph Moore never got a chance to give him another
Page 4 of 10