Two accused in brutal assault held in jail

  • Jun. 4, 2008 10:00 a.m.

Two men arrested after a brutal assault in Queen Charlotte on May 23 are still in jail in Prince Rupert and are waiting for another court date. A youth allegedly involved in the incident was not in custody as of our deadline on June 3, but he was scheduled to appear before the court in Queen Charlotte on June 4. Crown Counsel Julian Dudley in Prince Rupert said the two adult men were in provincial court in Rupert on June 2, but the case was put over until June 9, unless their counsel can move that date up. The men are charged with kidnapping, unlawful confinement, uttering death threats, theft under $5,000 and assault. One man’s assault charge includes the use of a weapon. Whether they will be released and on what kind of conditions, “is up to the judge,” said Mr. Dudley. North Coast MLA Gary Coons said he has heard concerns from many Queen Charlotte residents that one of the accused has been released into the custody of his family. Mr. Coons told the Observer that many in the community feel the release of this individual was inappropriate. He is calling for the conditions for release for this individual to be strictly enforced. “Clearly public safety must come first, the community deserves assurances it is the number one priority and the RCMP must be vigilant to ensure that all conditions are met,” he said. Mr. Coons points out that the Youth Criminal Justice Act presumes that young people should not be in custody prior to their trial. Bill C-25, which is currently in House of Commons, seeks to strengthen this act by allowing a judge to order a young person be held in custody when the offence has endangered the public or the offence has caused serious bodily harm to another person.