Man charged with abusing siblings suddenly changes plea

Rosie Mullaley
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After pleading guilty to six charges, 28-year-old disputes facts of case

The guilty pleas were in and the facts of the case were read into evidence.

Defence lawyer John Kelly and Crown prosecutor Lynn Moore discuss the case of a man charged with sexually abusing his siblings prior to the start of proceedings Monday in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s. — Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

All that was left was for lawyers to present recommendations on sentencing.

But all that suddenly changed when a St. John’s man accused of sexually molesting his siblings decided he wasn’t guilty after all.

The 28-year-old — who is not being named in order to protect the identity of the complainants — changed his pleas to not guilty and will have his case return to Newfoundland Supreme Court this afternoon to set dates for his trial.

The decision came about an hour into proceedings, after Justice William Goodridge suggested the man review the facts of the case, which the man had already signed.

Following a 30-minute break to allow him time to read the documents, defence lawyer John Kelly informed the judge that his client would now be pleading not guilty to the almost dozen charges against him.

The judge reluctantly agreed.

“I have no patience for anyone who is using up court resources,” Goodridge said.

However, he added that it was critical for the man to understand what is happening in the case and what the accusations are against him.

The man is charged with nine charges, including sexual interference, sexual assaults and uttering threats.

It’s alleged he repeatedly molested his two half-brothers and his half-sister between 2001 and 2011. One of the children was five years old when the reported abuse began. The others were seven.

The man had pleaded guilty to six of the charges before he changed his mind.

Twitter: @TelyCourt

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