Bail hear­ing de­sires

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE - BY DIANE CROCKER dcrocker@thewest­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_DianeCrocker

A jailed Ir­ish­town-Sum­mer­side man is push­ing for a bail hear­ing af­ter pre­vi­ous re­lease meth­ods yielded no re­sults.

With ef­forts to find a suit­able place to live yield­ing no suc­cess, an Ir­ish­town-Sum­mer­side man now wants a bail hear­ing.

As he has for his past few court ap­pear­ances, Melvin Laing, 58, ap­peared in pro­vin­cial court in Cor­ner Brook on Fri­day af­ter­noon via video­con­fer­ence from Her Majesty’s Pen­i­ten­tiary in St. John’s.

Laing was ar­rested last May and charged with drug­ging, un­law­fully con­fin­ing and sex­u­ally as­sault­ing a girl un­der the age of 14.

He un­der­went an as­sess­ment at the Water­ford Hospi­tal and in early July the Crown con­sented to his be­ing re­leased from cus­tody. How­ever, he was taken back into cus­tody later that month af­ter his surety suc­cess­fully ap­plied to be re­moved from that role.

Since then the pro­vin­cial Crown’s of­fice has said it is not op­posed to Laing’s re­lease if some­where can be found for him to live.

Dur­ing Fri­day’s ap­pear­ance his lawyer, Sandi MacKin­non, told the court that that has not hap­pened.

She said Laing never had a bail hear­ing and that he now wants one. The bail hear­ing was set for Jan. 19 at 9:30 a.m.

Laing will ap­pear in per­son for the hear­ing. He’s al­ready en­tered not guilty pleas to the charges against him and his trial is sched­uled for Feb. 21-22.

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