Bed cuts played part in remand beating

The closing of acute-care beds at a psychiatric hospital in part led to the severe beating of a man being held in connection with a sexual assault on a senior, Red Deer Court heard on Thursday.

The closing of acute-care beds at a psychiatric hospital in part led to the severe beating of a man being held in connection with a sexual assault on a senior, Red Deer Court heard on Thursday.

Lawyer Arnold Piragoff said his client was ordered by a judge three weeks ago to have a full psychiatric and physical assessment to determine his fitness to instruct a lawyer and stand trial on the numerous charges.

However, nothing has been done to help his client — who suffers from a bipolar condition and a split personality — receive the assessment, Piragoff said.

He said the Alberta government’s plan to close 246 acute-care beds in Alberta Hospital Edmonton is a factor.

Piragoff said his client wasn’t admitted to the hospital but instead was to receive a visit from a doctor at the Edmonton Remand Centre for the assessment.

The visit never occurred, and when other inmates discovered what the accused was charged with, he was severely beaten, having some teeth knocked out, Piragoff said.

Jesse Peter Toews, 25, of Red Deer, is accused of robbing and sexually assaulting an elderly Red Deer woman in late July.

RCMP allege that Toews pounced on the 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 killed a kitten by throwing it against a wall.

Piragoff told the judge that Toews’ mother told him earlier that her son suffered from a bipolar condition and has 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.

Piragoff asked Judge Jim Mitchell to re-issue the order to have Toews examined at Alberta Hospital Ponoka but Crown prosecutor Murray McPherson said that hospital doesn’t examine people in custody accused of crimes.

Piragoff said his client is now in protective custody.

The court agreed with Piragoff that it was vital to have Toews returned to Red Deer court as soon as possible to decide what to do next.

Toews was to appear in Red Deer court again on Oct. 7 but the date was switched to today.

Just Posted

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

Cannabis smoke raises health concerns

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Avid Penhold climber Catlin Hannah’s death a reminder of the dangers of scrambling

Hannah never returned from his Mount Smuts attempt on Aug. 12.

Children, elderly at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

VANCOUVER — Thick smoke blanketing British Columbia communities far from any flames… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month