Gordon Nickerson during an earlier court appearance. CTV News photos
By Nancy Kelly
A Yarmouth-area man’s bid to halt his dangerous offender hearing has been denied.
Gordon Nickerson, 35, who pleaded guilty to 12 charges, including assaulting and abducting two women from the Yarmouth area in February 2012, was back in Kentville provincial court Oct. 1 for the start of his dangerous offender application hearing.
Nickerson was arrested Feb. 29, 2012 after fleeing the scene of a collision with another vehicle in New Minas. He had assaulted and abducted two women, whose identities are protected under a publication ban, who were in the vehicle he was driving. The Crown is seeking to have Nickerson declared a dangerous offender. If approved, it would make him subject to a longer, or indefinite, term of detention in order to protect the public. He has remained in custody since his 2012 arrest.
During his Oct. 1 court appearance, Nickerson’s lawyer, Ken Greer, sought to annul the hearing on the grounds that appropriate assessment of Nickerson was not conducted during the required 60-day timeframe during his stay at the East Coast Forensic Hospital in Dartmouth.
“Mr. Nickerson does not dispute there were grounds for the (dangerous offender) order,” said Greer, noting his client is instead disputing the process.
Greer’s request was denied by Judge Alan Tufts, who deemed the failure to interview Nickerson was “not fatal to the proceedings.” He instructed the Crown to proceed with evidence for the dangerous offender status. Greer responded by asking for an adjournment to meet with Crown prosecutor Bob Morrison.
“It could narrow issues and open the door to possible resolution,” said Greer.
Tufts agreed to that request and court reconvened at noon and then again at 1:30 when Greer appealed for more time to confer with the Crown. The parties did not reach any agreement and Morrison informed Tufts he would be proceeding with the dangerous offender application.
Testimony, which got underway mid-afternoon, began with the Crown presenting video evidence of victim statements. The hearing is scheduled for an additional six days between Oct. 2 and 31.