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Justin Jennings facing home invasion, gun charges

Justin Jennings, 34, poses outside Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s earlier this month. Jennings was released from HMP in May, after a provincial court judge ruled he deserved a lighter than usual sentence because of the conditions he endured in prison.
Justin Jennings outside Her Majesty’s Penitentiary in St. John’s. - Tara Bradbury file photo/The Telegram

Inmate who spoke out about horrid conditions in HMP was back in court Thursday

When Justin Jennings was released from custody on a driving charge Tuesday, word was that more charges were in the works.
On Thursday, those charges were officially laid. Jennings was back in the dock at provincial court in St. John’s, facing a long list of serious allegations.
Court documents allege Jennings went on something of a crime spree Sunday night, resulting in the driving charge, four charges of breaching court orders, and others related to two male victims: two charges of breaking and entering homes – one in C.B.S. and one in St. John’s – with the intent to commit a crime, two charges of robbery, two charges of using a gun while committing a crime, two charges of possessing a gun for a dangerous purpose, and four charges of possessing a gun while prohibited.

Related story:
Former inmate Justin Jennings records the stark realities of prison life in his journal

While the Crown agreed to release Jennings earlier in the week on a $1,000 surety from a friend, Jennings consented to remain in custody when he was back in court on Thursday. He’ll make his next court appearance by video on Oct. 3.
Jennings made headlines last May when Judge James Walsh released him from custody with a sentence of time served on three assault charges, a dangerous driving charge and court order breaches, saying Jennings had suffered undue hardship as an inmate at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary.
Walsh made strong statements about the conditions Jennings had endured in the prison, saying the institution had failed to protect him and the inmates he assaulted when staff placed him in segregation excessively, inappropriately discontinued his medication and in other ways, despite his deteriorating health.
Jennings has an open civil case against HMP in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court, in which he has made similar statements.

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