A man charged with making bomb threats at the Health Sciences Centre last month told the court Tuesday he intends to plead guilty.
“I’m trying to get this matter dealt with. Is there a way I can get into a courtroom, I don’t care what lawyer is there, so I can try and get a plea bargain or get the ball rolling?” Michael Stacey asked Judge Lois Skanes.
Skanes scheduled Stacey to come back to court next week, telling him he should be able to request a sentencing date at that time.
Stacey, 42, will remain in custody for now, and will make that appearance via videolink from Her Majesty’s Penitentiary. He’s been in custody since he was arrested Dec. 19, and had applied for bail. Tuesday morning, Skanes told him she was denying him release.
He has been charged with seven counts of uttering threats, and one count each of causing a disturbance, assaulting a peace officer and assault with a weapon.
Stacey accepted his next court date and told a female family member he loved her as he was escorted back to the cells by sheriffs.
“I’m trying to get this matter dealt with. Is there a way I can get into a courtroom, I don’t care what lawyer is there, so I can try and get a plea bargain or get the ball rolling?”
— Michael Stacey
Just before 7 a.m. on Dec. 19, Stacey allegedly entered the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s, saying he was carrying explosives. Police arrived at the hospital and cordoned off the area before arresting Stacey and finding him not to have any explosive devices.
Hospital staff were given the all-clear about an hour later.
On Dec. 21, Opposition Health Critic David Brazil issued a media release, calling on Health and Community Services Minister John Haggie to determine whether or not correct lockdown procedures had been followed after the bomb threat was made.
Brazil said his party had heard from members of the public who had still been able to enter the hospital while the incident was unfolding.
“Fortunately this incident did not lead to a tragedy, but effective protocols must be in place for the worst-case scenarios, to keep people safe,” Brazil said. “The minister of health needs to get to the bottom of what happened, and reassure people that the protocols are effective and that they were properly implemented.”