Thursday, March 20, 2014

Court: Jury Will Decide MacKean's Fate

The sexual assault trial involving a Halifax man is entering it's final stages. Both sides in the case presented their closing arguments Thursday afternoon during the Nova Scotia Supreme Court trial in Bridgewater. John Leonard MacKean is facing two charges including sexual assault and a prostitution related offence. MacKean denies the boy was chained up when he visited the cabin on September 20, 2012. MacKean also testified he would have helped the 16-year-old if he knew the boy was being held against his will. However, the 64-year-old admitted to touching the teenagers genitals while he was at the cabin in Upper Chelsea. MacKean stated he went to the cabin to get a massage from Wayne Cunningham. The Crown has submitted DNA evidence that matches MacKean. Prosecutor Lloyd Tancock says evidence shows the sexual meeting was pre-planned. The defence argues the case comes down to credibility and whether the teenage victim was telling the truth while under oath due to varying versions of his story. The jury will begin its deliberations after getting instructions from the judge Friday morning.

Chester: Flat Fee Proposed For Universal Sewer Rate

A flat fee is being proposed as a route for a universal sewer rate in Chester. The municipality is exploring a universal rate to help eliminate deficits in five of their six sewer systems. Staff is recommending the flat fee based on property assessment instead of using the existing system with as much as a 20 per cent rate increase. Warden Allen Webber feels its the best option.

A presentation from the public also provided another option but council still has to review it. A final decision has not been made. Council is giving residents and business owners two weeks to review the information.

Visitor Restrictions At Lunenburg Nursing Home

An outbreak of noro virus has prompted officials at a nursing home in Lunenburg to limit visiting. Administrator Tim McAulay at Harbourview Haven Home For Special Care says several residents have shown signs of the gastro-intestinal illness in recent days. He says friends and loved ones are being asked to limit their visits.

There are 143 residents at Harbour View Haven and McAulay says the restrictions will be lifted once the number of cases declines.

Accused Takes Stand At Bridgewater Sexual Assault Trial

A 64 year old Halifax-area man charged with sexual assault is testifying today during his Supreme Court trial in Bridgewater. John Leonard MacKean says he would have helped the teenage boy who was chained up and blindfolded, if he had known he was being held against his will.
MacKean is accused of paying to perform sexual acts on the boy while he was chained-up and blindfolded. However, the 64 year old denies those charges, saying he was duped by Wayne Cunningham into going to the cabin. Cunningham was one of the main figures in the kidnapping and confinement of the 16 year old in Upper Chelsea. The relationship between MacKean and Cunningham grew through Cunningham offering personal massages to help MacKean with his bad hip after they met in 2011 at alcoholic anonymous meetings in Halifax. MacKean testified this morning he was just going for another massage when he went to the cabin on September 20, 2012. The accused also stated he never discussed paying to perform sexual acts on the boy. The crown will have an opportunity to question the accused later today. A 12 member jury is expected to begin its deliberations later today or tomorrow.

School Hoax Making The Rounds In Bridgewater & New Germany

Bridgewater Police and school officials at Park View Education Centre and New Germany Rural High are trying to get to the bottom of a hoax. Numerous parents have received automated phone calls lately saying their children had been selected to undergo drug testing at their school. Bridgewater Police Chief John Collyer says it may take some time to track the source but he says its definately a hoax.

And the Chief says the school board and his force are still trying to determine from where the calls are originating. He says if the person is found, its difficult to determine what the consequences might be, other than maybe mischief charges.

Gasoline Prices May Drop Slightly Tonight

Look for South Shore gas prices to remain the same or drop slightly overnight tonight when the utility and review board sets the coming week's prices. In New Brunswick this morning, self serve regular is down half a cent a litre and is selling for about $1.34.3. Diesel is also two cents a litre cheaper in New Brunswick. The maximum price for heating oil is almost 2 cents a litre less expensive and another decrease in the maximum price of propane in New Brunswick, this time by just over 4.5 cents a litre at $1.20.4.

Welcome To Spring But Winter Will Hang Around Longer

Spring officially begins this afternoon just before 2 o'clock (1:57pm to be precise). However, because spring arrives doesn't necessarily mean warm temperatures will suddenly break out and flowers and green grass pop up. Meteorologist Steven Hatt at Environment Canada in Dartmouth says the chilly weather we've had all winter will continue.

Most forecasters are saying temperatures will be below normal through much of the first 6 weeks of spring.
If that holds true, that'll put us into the first week of May before any real change possibly happens.

DNA Evidence Submitted, MacKean Takes Stand

The man accused of sexual assault in a high profile court case will take the stand on Day 3 of the Supreme Court trial in Bridgewater. Defence lawyer Mike Taylor confirmed the news just before the court proceedings wrapped up on Wednesday. John Leonard MacKean is accused of paying for sexual acts involving a teenager who was chained up and blindfolded in a cabin in Upper Chelsea. Taylor says his testimony will help clear some issues up for the jury.

Meanwhile, DNA evidence that matches MacKean's has been submitted before the court. Crown prosecutor Lloyd Tancock says two forensic reports were filed as evidence which places the accused inside the cabin.

Closing arguments are also expected on Day 3 of the trial. A 12 member jury will ultimately decide MacKean's fate.