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More charges likely for St. John's sex offender Matthew Twyne, sources say

Matthew Twyne speaks angrily to reporters as sheriffs escort him from a St. John’s courtroom Tuesday afternoon.
Matthew Twyne at court in St. John’s Tuesday. - Tara Bradbury file photo/The Telegram

Accused withdraws bail request, consents to remand until next court appearance

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

A convicted sex offender who spent two days out of jail last week before he was re-arrested has changed his mind about trying to get bail and has agreed to stay behind bars instead.

Matthew Twyne, 33, will make his next court appearance Oct. 24, when he is expected to be formally charged with committing an indecent act near a St. John’s walking trail.

Twyne, whose criminal history includes six convictions for indecent acts, finished serving a full two-and-a-half-year sentence last week. With concerns that he would commit another sexual offence, but having no grounds to keep him in custody, the RNC successfully applied to the provincial court for an order compelling Twyne to abide by dozens of conditions upon his release.

There were 29 conditions in total, including that he have no contact with children and that he stay away from a handful of specific locations in the metro area.

Police arrested Twyne in one of those locations — the MUN campus, specifically near Long Pond — around lunchtime last Friday, two days after Twyne had been released. They had received a report of a man committing an indecent act in the area.

RNC officers located Twyne and swiftly charged him with breaking his conditions, taking him into custody. In the meantime, police issued a public appeal for witnesses to the indecent act.

Sources say Twyne may have more charges when he returns to court.

Earlier this week, Twyne indicated he wanted a bail hearing and it was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. When that time came, his lawyer told Judge Lois Skanes that Twyne was consenting to remand instead.

In a criminal case where the Crown opposes an accused’s release from custody, as it has with Twyne, the accused can request a bail hearing. During the hearing, evidence is presented by defence and Crown lawyers to the judge, who then decides whether or not to release the person to await their next court date.

An accused person can agree to remain in custody until their next appearance instead, and this often happens if the person doesn't have access to a surety or a suitable bail plan, or if their circumstances are such that bail isn't likely to be granted. A person who agrees to be remanded will earn jail credit that can be applied to their sentence if they are eventually found guilty.

A person who chooses to remain in custody can later change their mind and have a bail hearing.

Twyne’s criminal record includes 73 convictions since 2005 in Corner Brook, Stephenville and St. John’s, the most recent in August 2017. He received a federal jail sentence for an incident in which he went to a St. John’s dance school, returned twice after he was told to leave, and at one point pressed his bare penis against a window in an area where young teenage dancers were gathered. When he was arrested, he was found to be intoxicated and carrying a hunting knife.

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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