Man con­victed of threat­en­ing to burn down neigh­bours’ cabin near St. Paul’s

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME - DIANE CROCKER [email protected]­ern­ Twit­ter: WS_DianeCrock­er

COR­NER BROOK, N.L. — Based on the ev­i­dence pre­sented to him, Judge Wayne Gor­man has con­victed a man with threat­en­ing to burn down a neigh­bour’s cabin in Old House Rocks near St. Paul’s last Au­gust.

In his writ­ten de­ci­sion re­leased fol­low­ing an Oct. 8 ap­pear­ance in pro­vin­cial court in Cor­ner Brook, Gor­man said Dean Ed­mund Ben­nett in­tended for his neigh­bours to take the threat se­ri­ously.

“It was meant to frighten and in­tim­i­date them,” wrote the judge.

On Aug. 25, 2018, Ben­nett’s neigh­bour no­ticed the wa­ter level at his cabin had dropped. When he checked the well, the court heard, he found it had been tam­pered with.

The man fixed the well. Later in the day, how­ever, the wa­ter pres­sure in the man’s cabin dropped twice more. Dur­ing one of the in­ci­dents, the man saw Ben­nett in the area of the well. He then con­tacted the Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice.

An of­fi­cer spoke to the man and his wife, and spoke with Ben­nett be­fore leav­ing the area.

Ben­nett then went to the cou­ple’s cabin and said he had not turned off the wa­ter. Ben­nett was de­scribed as be­ing very loud and he was asked to leave.

He then made ref­er­ence to burn­ing them down.

The cou­ple said they took his words se­ri­ously and did not sleep that night. They con­tacted the po­lice again and Ben­nett was ar­rested.

Gor­man said the cou­ple were hon­est and cred­i­ble wit­nesses, but that he did not be­lieve Ben­nett’s ev­i­dence.

He said Ben­nett’s ev­i­dence was self-con­tra­dic­tory. At one point, he said he didn’t speak to the cou­ple, but later in­di­cated he did and that he didn’t re­mem­ber what he said.

Sub­mis­sions and sen­tenc­ing in the case will be made Oct. 21.

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