Man accused of assaulting corrections officers going to trial
A Halifax man accused of assaulting a corrections officer will have his trial heard in March in Pictou provincial court.
James Bernard Melvin Jr., 35, was denied an application Monday in Pictou to have a psychiatric assessment done to determine if he was not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder on Dec. 5, 2016, when he allegedly assaulted correction officers at the North East Nova Scotia Correctional Facility.
Melvin claimed during a hearing last week that he has been subject to abuse by corrections staff and suffers mentally from being held in isolation for most of this 2 1/2 years on remand.
Judge Del Atwood said in order to grant the application he would need to see evidence that a cognitive disorder was existed.
He said the defence mentioned that Melvin was subject to three assessments in the past in the prison, but copies of these assessments were not submitted as evidence.
Melvin’s testimony consisted of grievances against corrections staff for alleged mistreatment and isolation, said Atwood, adding that the hearing was not the place to hear such comments.
“There is a forum for such grievances and judicial remedy,” he said. “This is not the forum and an (not criminally responsible application) is not the remedy.”
A half a day has been set aside for the trial in Pictou provincial court on March 5.