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Irishtown-Summerside man wants a bail hearing

Melvin Laing is seen walking into provincial court in Corner Brook on Thursday afternoon.
Melvin Laing is seen walking into provincial court in Corner Brook in this Western Star file photo. - Diane Crocker

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.

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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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