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Second assessment refused for Pictou County man accused of sexually assaulting children

Scales of justice.
Scales of justice. - SaltWire Network

A Pictou County man accused of sexually assaulting children and recording the assaults tried unsuccessfully Friday to get a judge to order a new criminal responsibility assessment after the first came back not in his favour.

Brett Andrew MacBeth told Windsor provincial court judge Alan Tufts that he felt the psychiatrist who performed the assessment was biased against him.

“I feel that the previous (assessment) was not done properly,” MacBeth said.

He said the doctor didn’t spend much time with him, only about half an hour.

“He asked, ‘Why are you here? This is a waste of my time,’” MacBeth alleged.

The request for the second assessment was made personally by MacBeth and not through hislawyer, Chrystal MacAuley, “I felt it would have a more human aspect to it, “ MacBeth told Tufts.

MacAulay said she was not part of the application but that she remains his lawyer in the case.

When asked, MacBeth told Tufts that he still planned to have MacAulay represent him, and did not want a different lawyer to represent him in the application.

“We came to an agreement that I would do this,” he said. “I want to do it myself.”

It was unclear whether MacAulay supported MacBeth’s application. She could not be reached after court.

Crown attorney Brandon Trask told Tufts he didn’t know the application was being made when he arrived at court, and that he considered the report that was prepared to be full and complete.

“He’s a well-respected forensic psychiatrist,” he said of the assessment’s author.

He also said that MacBeth has the option of getting a second independent report, but that a new one shouldn’t be ordered just because he didn’t like the results of the first.

In the end, Tufts declined MacBeth’s application.

“The court had grounds to order the assessment at the outset and the assessment was ordered and completed. I understand you don’t agree with the assessment, perhaps, or thought there were flaws in the procedure . . . (but) I’m not going to order another assessment. I don’t see anything in the assessment that causes me any particular concern.”

He told MacBeth that he has the ability to engage another psychiatrist on his own to prepare another report, which would then be part of a hearing on whether he was criminally responsible.

The judge told Trask to take the concerns expressed by MacBeth back to the psychiatrist for a response. He said if something came out of that that caused him concern, he might reconsider his decision.

MacBeth is accused of sexually assaulting two children and recording the assaults, which happened in Hants County in 2016 and 2017.

He is charged with two counts each of sexual assault, sexual interference and making child pornography.

MacBeth was arrested last Oct. 11 when police searched a Westville home.

The case started out in February 2017 as an investigation into the possession of child pornography. The alleged assaults were discovered in the course of that investigation after MacBeth’s arrest.

He will return to court in May, by which time he will have decided whether to have a second assessment done himself.

He is also facing three counts of possession of child pornography stemming from the search of the Westville home.

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