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Irishtown-Summerside man can’t be released until he has a suitable place to live

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 file photo. - Diane Crocker

When Melvin Laing appeared in provincial court in Corner Brook on Wednesday morning the proceedings were basically a repeat of at least three previous appearances.

The 58-year-old man from Irishtown-Summerside is currently on remand at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s and appeared via videoconference.

He’s charged with drugging, unlawfully confining and sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 14.

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Following the completion of a mental health assessment Laing was released from custody in July when two sureties were put in place to ensure he followed the conditions of his release.

He was taken back into custody shortly after when the two sureties backed out.

The Crown is agreeable to him being released again, if a suitable place is found for him to live.

But his lawyer, Sandi MacKinnon, told him and the court that efforts to find a place had not been successful.

MacKinnon has been in contact with Western Health’s Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT), but it does not provide housing. She said the team is looking at the resources that are out there.

She asked to have Laing’s matter called again next month to see if housing can be arranged.

His case will be called on Dec. 19.

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