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A serial burglar who finished a jail sentence in May and was back in custody with new charges in July is headed to trial.
Robert Newell, 36, had indicated in provincial court last month when he was denied bail that he wanted to plead not guilty to his latest charges: three counts each of break and entry and breaching court orders, and one count of possessing a break-in instrument.
Last week, during a court appearance by video from Her Majesty’s Penitentiary, Newell appeared frustrated when the judge told him a trial could not yet be set, because the Crown was still receiving the evidence from police in the case.
When the matter was called Monday morning, Newell’s trial was scheduled for three days in November.
Newell and another man are alleged to have broken into three businesses in the early morning hours of July 10: NAPA Auto Parts in C.B.S., Paradise Wall-Beds on Topsail Road and Riverdale Investments, also in C.B.S. Surveillance footage obtained by police from the businesses showed two suspects arriving in a blue Montana, with one using a crowbar to break in.
The vehicle was located around 6 a.m. in the parking lot of Tim Hortons in Manuels, and police approached it and found Newell in the driver's seat, with another man sitting next to him, and a crowbar on the floor.
Newell, who has a 52-page criminal record consisting mainly of commercial break-ins, has represented himself in court during previous trials, prompting one judge to commend him on his abilities and urge him to get his life together and use his talents in a productive way.