Terence Bay sexual assault case dismissed after complainant dies

A Terence Bay man will never go to trial on allegations of breaking into a woman’s house in the seaside community in November 2022 and March 2023 and sexually assaulting her during the second incident.

Ian Edward Craig Warner, 59, was awaiting trial in Halifax provincial court next month on two charges of break and enter and single counts of sexual assault and property mischief.

But Judge Christine Driscoll dismissed all four counts Monday after the prosecution announced it would not be calling any evidence.

Later Monday, Public Prosecution Service spokeswoman Melissa Noonan explained the Crown’s decision.

“The Crown determined there was no longer a realistic prospect of a conviction after police advised the victim involved is now deceased,” Noonan said.

The complainant passed away in December. Her identity is protected by a publication ban.

Warner was supposed to stand trial last July, but the hearing was postponed after he fired his lawyer at the last minute. He then retained the services of Don Murray, and the trial was rescheduled.

A man broke into the woman’s home in Terence Bay on March 7, 2023, at about 6 a.m. The complainant woke up to find an individual she knew standing beside her bed, sexually touching her.

The woman locked herself in a bathroom. The man eventually forced his way into the bathroom before she ran from the dwelling and called 911.

RCMP arrested Warner at a nearby residence.

Warner was denied bail in March 2023. He remained behind bars until a few days before Christmas, when the Crown consented to his release after learning of the complainant’s death.

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