Local briefs – September 9

A Calgary man charged with 11 counts of aggravated assault for having unprotected sex with a woman without telling her he was HIV positive will have a preliminary hearing next June.

Sex case suspect gets court date

A Calgary man charged with 11 counts of aggravated assault for having unprotected sex with a woman without telling her he was HIV positive will have a preliminary hearing next June.

Paul Morgan Thomson, 33, of Calgary, elected to be tried by a justice alone in Court of Queen’s Bench during a brief appearance in Red Deer provincial court on Tuesday.

Defence lawyer Richard Wyrozub also entered a not guilty plea on a charge of theft of a bank card on behalf of his client. Not guilty pleas on the other charges will be entered in Court of Queen’s Bench.

The preliminary hearing is set for June 9.

Wyrozub unsuccessfully applied to have his client’s name covered by a publication ban that is already in place to protect his alleged victim’s identity. Wyrozub argued that releasing his name could lead to the identification of the woman.

Crown prosecutor Robin Fiander opposed the application and asked for a brief recess to ask the woman, who was in court, if she was concerned about the accused’s name being published. The woman did not object.

Judge David Plosz ruled the name of the accused could be published.

Thomson remains in custody.


Psychiatric assessment ordered for accused

A man accused of robbing and sexually assaulting an elderly Red Deer woman has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment.

Provincial court Judge David Plosz ordered the assessment on Tuesday to determine if Jesse Peter Toews, 25, is fit to stand trial.

RCMP allege Toews pounced on an elderly woman and assaulted her about 9:30 a.m. on July 29 in a wooded area near 67th Street and 52nd Avenue. The woman’s purse and watch were stolen in the attack.

It is also alleged that Toews threw someone into a closet on Aug. 6. He then smashed a cellphone and fled the scene.

A cruelty to animals charge was also laid after Toews allegedly threw a kitten against a wall, killing the cat.

Defence lawyer Arnold Piragoff told the judge that Toews’ mother told him her son suffered from a bipolar condition and had a split personality.

Toews has been charged with sexual assault, forcible confinement, robbery, making death threats and mischief to property. He also faces several other charges, including failing to appear in court.

Toews remains in custody and is due back in court on Oct. 7.


Complaints to police decline slightly

Calls to Red Deer City RCMP decreased last week.

Police received 841 calls for the week of Aug. 31 to Sept. 8, down from 933 calls between Aug. 24 to Aug. 30.

RCMP crime statistics show the number calls about drug investigations dropped to six from 12, and two robberies were reported, the same as the week before.

Reports of suspicious persons, vehicle or activity increased to 48 from 39.

Assaults calls decreased to 27 from 42 and domestic violence calls increased to 21 from 19. Reports of mischief rose to 56 from 51.

Residential break and enters remained the same at 17 both weeks. There were five business break-ins reported, compared to seven the previous week.