Angry words can haunt you. Just ask David Laxton, the Yukon Party’s candidate for Porter Creek Centre.
On August 24, 2010, the 55-year-old veteran and businessman was charged with uttering threats to cause bodily harm. The charge was dropped for a peace bond, which expired in March.
“I’ve told everybody. It’s not a secret,” Laxton said of the charge. “I could of blamed it on post-traumatic stress disorder – I have a diagnosis, from my service in Bosnia. But that would be a cop-out.
“I was irresponsible, and that’s all it was.”
On June 4 of last year, Laxton attended the Legion’s reopening. “I had some wine and a couple beers,” he said. “We were cheering and celebrating. I wasn’t falling down drunk – I remember the entire evening. But it’s no excuse.”
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Laxton joined the food lineup and found himself next to John Gullison Sr. The two men hadn’t gotten along since they met a decade ago, said Laxton.
“We were both drinking. And he started going on about a cue ball – he was accusing me of giving it away. I told him, ‘I don’t know what cue ball you’re talking about.’
“He went on making accusations. I told him this wasn’t the place.
“After four or five times, I told him, ‘If you don’t shut the fuck up, I’m going to throw you off this balcony.’ There was a four-foot-high barrier, so there’s no way I could even imagine doing it.
“He stopped talking. We went through the food line. I thought that was the end of it. Next thing I know, the police are here saying that, according to them, he felt threatened.”
On September 15, 2010, a judge gave Laxton a peace bond that imposed the following restrictions for six months: he was to keep the peace, avoid contact with Gullison, offer a verbal apology to the Legion’s general meeting and abstain from possessing or consuming alcohol at Legion functions.
Those orders expired in March.
Gullison didn’t want to discuss the matter.
“It’s over and done with,” he said. “He’s served his time.”
For Laxton, the episode offered an obvious lesson. “Whether you’re drunk or sober, you have to be careful of what you say.”
The charge didn’t interfere with his volunteer work. He’s chair of the Child Welfare Centre and Whitehorse Housing Authority. Laxton’s also been active in the establishment of an Abbeyfield-style home for the elderly.
Laxton was the only registered candidate to have anything beyond a speeding ticket appear on his criminal record at the Yukon courthouse.
Contact John Thompson at email@example.com.