Bairdsville man sentenced to over seven months in jail

by | Aug 10, 2023

Ronald Terry Bowmaster, 35, of Bairdsville, was sentenced on Aug. 9 to a total of seven and a half months in jail, minus time served, after pleading guilty to several charges laid by RCMP. He was also placed on 12 months of probation and was prohibited from driving for six months.

Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean said Bowmaster came before the court with no prior criminal record, noting his adventure into crime was the direct result of addiction to methamphetamine. 

“Meth sinks a lot of boats around here,” Judge McLean told the accused. “You’ve seen for yourself what it can do.”

McLean told the court Bowmaster was also reoffending while wearing an electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle.

“That speaks to the power of methamphetamine addiction,” McLean contended.

The judge recommended Bowmaster seek counselling for his addiction and advised him to stay sober and away from the wrong crowd after his release. He has been in custody since his arrest in May.

The court heard Bowmaster was drawn into drugs due to the breakdown of a long-term relationship, and he began using meth to cope with the loss. As his addiction took over, he was involved in a number of separate events over a 12-month period that resulted in criminal charges.

Bowmaster appeared in provincial court in custody on May 11 and was denied bail. He was charged with possession of stolen property (a side-by-side), flight from police, committing mischief causing property damage, and two counts of breaching a release order, concerning an incident on May 9 near River de Chute. 

Bowmaster pleaded guilty to having the stolen property, flight from police, and one count of breaching a release order. The mischief charge and another charge of driving while suspended were withdrawn. 

The court heard the side-by-side was stolen from Strawberry Hill Farms in Pembroke. He was also charged with flight from police, breaching a release order, and driving while suspended for an incident on April 27 at Perth-Andover. 

Bowmaster pleaded guilty to breach of the release order, and the other two charges were withdrawn. He was also charged with flight from police, possession of a firearm without a licence, careless use of a firearm, and possession of stolen property (an ATV) in connection with a separate incident on April 29, 2022, at Beaconsfield. Bowmaster pleaded guilty to the flight charge and one firearm offence, and the other charges were withdrawn.

He was also charged by RCMP with uttering threats involving a female victim, concerning an incident on Jan. 29 near Juniper. He agreed to sign a 12-month peace bond, and his trial on this charge did not proceed. Bowmaster also pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while suspended on Dec. 5, 2022, in Plaster Rock and on Nov. 21, 2022, in Carlingford. He appeared in provincial court in custody for a bail hearing on Feb. 6. 

He was released with conditions, including wearing an electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle, but was arrested and brought back into custody.

Woodstock man sentenced to house arrest

Caleb Luke Groff, 28, of Woodstock, was sentenced on Aug. 9 to 23 months of house arrest on a sex charge laid by Woodstock Police. He was ordered to report to a probation officer during his house arrest, and he must continue mental health counselling. 

Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean also ordered Groff to register with the federal DNA database and the national registry for sex offenders. He will be able to attend work and support his family during his house arrest. Groff had no prior criminal record. Groff pleaded guilty to sexual assault involving a female victim in connection with incidents that occurred between Jan. 28 and July 3, 2021, at Woodstock. 

In deciding the sentence, Judge McLean described Groff as a unique and naive individual who was living with autism. As a result, social communication and the sharing of emotions are more difficult for him.

At an earlier court appearance, Groff expressed his remorse and read a statement to the court in which he apologized to the victim for failing to obtain “discernible consent,” saying he now understood that was wrong. He was charged by the police after a church pastor made a report of sexual assault on behalf of the victim.

While the crown asked for a two-year federal prison term, Judge McLean ruled Groff was not a danger to the public. Instead, there were multiple letters of reference submitted to the court on his behalf which spoke to his character and work ethic.

“His background and personal circumstances are unique,” McLean said. “He sought out counselling and has made a dramatic improvement.”

Bail hearing pending

Jesse Adam Shaw, 32, of Woodstock, appeared in provincial court in custody on Aug. 9 when his bail hearing was adjourned. He returns to court on Aug. 17 at 2:30 p.m. for the bail hearing. Shaw was remanded to jail on June 26. 

He was charged by Woodstock Police with breach of a release order by violating an order to have no contact with a female victim. He appeared in provincial court in custody by video for a bail hearing on June 19 and was released with conditions, including wearing an electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle. He was scheduled to return to court for plea on July 11 but was brought back into custody.

At his previous court appearance, he was charged by Woodstock Police with several offences including assault, uttering threats, and committing mischief concerning a series of incidents between April 20 and May 8, between May 1 and May 8, and between June 11 and June 14 in Woodstock. 

Sentencing set for Greenfield man

Garett Andrew Bright, 32, of Greenfield, appeared in provincial court on Aug. 9 and changed his plea to guilty on four charges laid by RCMP. He returns to court for sentencing on Nov. 7 at 1:30 p.m. 

Bright pleaded guilty to assault related to an incident on April 12, 2022, at Greenfield. Another charge of sexual assault was withdrawn by the crown. He also pleaded guilty to committing mischief causing property damage to a vehicle and breach of an undertaking for a separate incident on Oct. 25, 2022, at Beechwood; and guilty to breach of a no-contact order for another incident between May 13-25, 2022, at Perth-Andover. 

Bright appeared in court in custody in October and was remanded for a bail hearing the next day. He was released from custody with conditions. 

Bail hearing delayed for Cloverdale man

Wyatt DeLong, 28, of Cloverdale, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Aug. 9 for a bail hearing. The hearing was adjourned until Aug. 29 at 11:30 a.m. at the request of his defence counsel. He remains in custody. The court heard DeLong may also be ready to enter to a plea at his next court appearance.

DeLong was charged with discharging a firearm with intent, flight from police, dangerous driving and breach of probation, in connection with an incident on July 14 at Florenceville-Bristol when shots were allegedly fired at a police officer. 

Janice Buchanan, 27, of Perth-Andover, was charged with robbery with violence stemming from an incident on May 29 at Florenceville-Bristol. The alleged theft involved a car, wallet and cell phone. Buchanan reserved her bail hearing until a later date. She was remanded to jail and returns to court for plea on Aug. 22 at 11 a.m.

They were arrested after a manhunt in Victoria County in connection with a series of incidents in the upper river valley.

Centreville men await bail hearings

Connell Ross McLean, 27, and Issak Tedford Thomas, 27, of Centreville, also remain in custody to await their bail hearings on charges related to a series of incidents including a police chase and shots fired. Thomas will return to court in custody by video for his bail hearing on Aug. 10 at 9:30 a.m., while McLean’s bail hearing has been rescheduled for Aug. 16 at 1:30 p.m.

They were each charged by RCMP with possession of a firearm while prohibited, discharge of a firearm (a rifle) with intent, breach of probation, improper storage of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a licence, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing it carried a firearm, obstructing police, and possession of stolen property.

McLean also faces additional charges of flight from police, driving while suspended, and assaulting a police officer.

The two men were arrested following a collision between an off-road vehicle and a police cruiser on Route 105 in Lower Brighton, south of Harland, on July 17. The arrests were related to a Monday morning incident in Speerville, south of Woodstock, which included shots fired at a Speerville resident. The suspects fled Speerville leading to an hours-long police search and investigation in several communities, including Lakeville, between Centreville and Woodstock, and Lower Brighton. 

In custody awaiting plea

Dylan Thibodeau, 28, of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), appeared in provincial court in custody on Aug. 8 to answer a series of charges laid by RCMP. The matter was adjourned for plea until Aug. 15 at 11:30 a.m. at the request of his defence counsel. 

Thibodeau was denied bail at a court appearance on July 31. He was charged by RCMP with breach of a release order, violation of a no-contact order, and failing to comply with an order to abstain from drugs or alcohol following an incident on July 26 at Neqotkuk.

He also appeared in provincial court on July 25 for plea on other charges laid by RCMP. Those matters were adjourned until Aug. 22 at 9:30 a.m. Thibodeau was charged by RCMP with assaulting a female victim, assault by choking, and breach of an undertaking in connection with an incident on June 21 at Neqotkuk. 

He appeared in provincial court in custody on June 26 for a bail hearing and was released with conditions. He was ordered to report to the police weekly and to stay away from Neqotkuk. He was residing at a residence in Beechwood. 

Released with conditions

Ryley Smith of Moncton appeared in provincial court in custody for a bail hearing on Aug. 8 and was released with conditions. Smith was charged by RCMP with assault with a weapon (a bottle), assault involving a female victim, breach of probation, and breach of an undertaking concerning an incident on July 25 in Lower Woodstock. 

He pleaded not guilty and a trial date was set for Feb. 16, 2024, at 9:30 p.m. A monitoring date was also set for Oct. 19 at 1:30 p.m. As part of his release, Smith was ordered to report to the police weekly and have no-contact with the complainant. He will be residing at a residence in Salisbury.

Warrant held on file

The court ordered a warrant be held on file for Gregory Sparks, 23, of no fixed address, after he failed to appear in provincial court on Aug. 8 for plea on two charges laid by RCMP. The court heard he was not in attendance due to his court appearance on other matters in Fredericton.

Sparks was charged with assault with a weapon (a utility knife) involving a female victim, and uttering threats concerning an incident on April 20 at Centreville.

Sentenced to 45 days

Patrick Harris, 39, of Keswick, was sentenced to a total of 45 days in jail, minus time served, when he appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Aug. 8. He also received an order to register with the federal DNA database. 

Harris was charged by RCMP with breach of a release order and obstructing police for an incident on July 24 in Hartland. He pleaded guilty to both charges. The court heard Harris was wearing an ankle bracelet at the time of his arrest. He also has other charges pending against him in Fredericton. 

Arrest warrant issued

Another arrest warrant was issued for Braxton Joseph Denny, 23, of Woodstock, after he failed to appear in provincial court on Aug. 8. Denny was charged with break and enter at a dwelling house, concerning an incident on Feb. 18 in Woodstock.

Denny is also scheduled to appear for trial in provincial court on March 4, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. after pleading not guilty to other charges laid by RCMP. Denny was charged with committing mischief causing property damage and breach of an undertaking on Dec. 9, 2022, at Upper Woodstock; two counts of assault and committing mischief causing property damage on Dec. 8, 2022, at Upper Woodstock. 

He was arrested on a warrant for failing to attend court and was released with conditions. Denny entered his not-guilty pleas at a court appearance on April 25.

Suspended sentence for assault 

Sheldon Peter Polchies, 57, of Woodstock First Nation, received a suspended sentence and 18 months of probation when he appeared in provincial court on Aug. 8.

Polchies pleaded not guilty to sexual assault, but guilty to the lesser offense of common assault. He was charged by RCMP with sexual assault concerning an incident at the pool hall inside the Eagles Nest on July 22, 2022. 

The crown agreed to accept his guilty plea for common assault. Associate Chief Judge Brian C. McLean ordered Polchies to seek counselling, describing the attack as a “demeaning, humiliating assault” on another man but there were no injuries. 

The defence conceded the assault involved groping another man but argued it was just a “joke that went wrong.” The accused had a prior criminal record.

Released with conditions

Issiah Tobi Gabriel, 21, of Canterbury, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Aug. 8 for a bail hearing. He was released with conditions and returns to court for plea on Aug. 29 at 9:30 a.m.

Gabriel was charged by Woodstock Police assault on a female victim, assault by choking and committing mischief causing property damage following an incident on Aug. 5 in Woodstock. He was arrested on the weekend.

As part of his release, he must follow a curfew and have no contact with the complainant. He will be residing at a residence in Canterbury.

Trial date to be set

Donald Paul of Woodstock First Nation will appear in provincial court on Aug. 29 at 9:30 a.m. to set a date for his trial. He appeared in provincial court on Aug. 1 and pleaded not guilty to assault.

Paul was charged by RCMP with assault involving a female victim in connection with an incident on June 29 at Woodstock First Nation.

Back in custody to await bail hearing

Morgan Nicholas, 27, of Perth-Andover, appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Aug. 8 and was remanded to jail. He returns to court in custody for a bail hearing on Aug. 10 at 11 a.m.

Nicholas was charged by RCMP with breach of a release order, resisting arrest, uttering threats, assault, assault with a weapon, and assaulting a police officer. He was arrested on the weekend.

He also appeared in provincial court in April and pleaded not guilty to all charges laid by RCMP. Three trials were scheduled for early next year on Feb. 1, Feb. 5, and Feb. 9, 2024.Nicholas pleaded not guilty to uttering threats on Oct. 18, 2022; assault and assaulting a female with a weapon on Nov. 25, 2022, breach of an undertaking and mischief causing damage to a police safety shield on Dec. 15, 2022; resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer on Jan. 6; breach of a no-contact order on March 5; breaching his curfew on March 16; uttering threats and assaulting a police officer on Jan. 7 in Woodstock; and committing mischief on Jan. 6. 

All but one of the alleged incidents occurred in Perth-Andover and Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation). Nicholas appeared in custody by video on March 7 and was released with conditions, including wearing an electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle. 

Arrested on the weekend

Daniel Jr. Francis, 30, of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), appeared in provincial court in custody by video on Aug. 8 and was remanded to jail. He returns to court on Aug. 22 at 2:30 p.m. to set a date for his bail hearing. 

Francis was charged by RCMP with two counts of uttering threats and resisting arrest following an incident on Aug. 2 at Neqotkuk. On Tuesday, he waived his bail until a later date and was remanded.

Returning for plea on two charges

Kerry Shawn Dennis, 61, of Woodstock First Nation, will appear in provincial court for plea on Sept. 5 at 9:30 a.m. on two charges laid by Woodstock Police.

Dennis was charged with possession of methamphetamine and carrying a concealed weapon (brass knuckles) stemming from an incident on March 2 in Woodstock. He appeared in court on Aug. 8 when the matter was adjourned to the new date at the request of his defence counsel.

Adjourned for plea

Silas Robert Burtt, 22, of Hartland, appeared in provincial court on Aug. 8 for plea on two charges laid by RCMP. The matter was adjourned until Aug. 29 at 9:30 a.m.

Burtt appeared in provincial court in custody on July 10 for a bail hearing. He was released with conditions, including wearing an electronic monitoring device attached to his ankle. He was charged with possession of stolen goods and breach of probation, concerning an incident on July 9 in East Brighton. 

Charged with assault

Chad Leighton, 45, of Benton, will appear in provincial court on Sept. 5 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on an assault charge.

Leighton was charged by RCMP with assault on a minor in connection with an incident on May 8 Benton. He made his first court appearance on Aug. 8 when the matter was adjourned to the new date.

Trial set for Hartland man

Vincent Ginson, 30, of Hartland, will appear for trial in provincial court on April 25, 2024, at 9:30 a.m. after pleading not guilty to one charge laid by RCMP.

Ginson was charged with assault concerning an incident on May 3 in Centreville. He entered his not-guilty plea at a court appearance on Aug. 8. A monitoring date to confirm he will be ready to proceed to trial was also set for Nov. 7 at 9:30 a.m.

Grafton man to enter plea

Matthew Allan Dukeshire, 32, of Grafton, will appear in provincial court on Sept. 5 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on a charge of impaired driving.

Dukeshire was charged by RCMP following an incident on May 9 in Lindsay. He made his first court appearance on Aug. 8 when the matter was adjourned to the new date.

Assault charge laid

Catherine Graham, 26, of Grafton, will appear in provincial court on Sept. 5 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on an assault charge.

Graham was charged by RCMP with assault on a minor in connection with an incident on May 1 in Grafton. She made her first court appearance on Aug. 8 when the matter was adjourned to the new date.

Woodstock woman charged

Elisha Dawn Stairs, 44, of Woodstock, will appear in provincial court on Sept. 5 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on two charges laid by RCMP.

Stairs was charged with refusing a breathalyzer demand and impaired driving, stemming from an incident on May 11 near Hartland. She made her first court appearance on Aug. 8 when the matter was adjourned to the new date.

Awaiting plea on one charge

Travis Sappier, 25, of Perth-Andover, will appear in provincial court on Sept. 5 at 9:30 a.m. for plea on an impaired driving charge.

Sappier was charged by RCMP in relation to an incident on May 3 at Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation). He made his first court appearance on Aug. 8 when the matter was adjourned to the new date.

Minto man facing charges

Codie Nicholas McNeill, 22, of Minto, will appear in provincial court on Aug. 11 at 9:30 a.m. to answer three charges laid by RCMP.

McNeill was charged with break and enter at the Covered Bridge Golf and Country Club, committing mischief causing property damage to storage shed door, and possession of stolen property (a 2013 Ford Taurus) following an incident on March 28 near Hartland.

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