Man ac­cused of as­sault­ing corrections of­fi­cers go­ing to trial

The News (New Glasgow) - - PICTOU COUNTY -

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.

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