A judge has denied bail for a man accused of assault and weapons charges stemming from what residents of the southwestern New Brunswick village of McAdam say was an act of vigilante justice.
Provincial court Judge Mary Jane Richards ordered 41-year-old Billy McGillicuddy of St. Croix, near McAdam, to remain in custody.
She issued her decision Friday in Fredericton following a bail hearing the day before, the details of which are subject to a publication ban.
McGillicuddy is accused of possessing a weapon, a baseball bat for, the purpose of committing an offence, and with assaulting Blake Scott with a weapon, a baseball bat.
He's accused of assaulting Scott with a weapon, a chair, unlawfully confining him, and pointing a sawed-off shotgun at him.
McGillicuddy also faces a sixth charge, of possessing a weapon, a sawed-off shotgun, for the purpose of committing an offence.
All the charges stem from incidents that occurred in McAdam, about 10 kilometres east of St. Croix, on June 4.
Three women sat in the gallery of the courtroom Friday and appeared emotionally upset when the decision was announced.
They left the courthouse and were met by supporters who hugged and comforted them.
McGillicuddy, who appeared in court by video, was remanded into custody and is scheduled to appear again in court on June 17.
Smaller turnout of supporters
Provincial court sheriffs set up metal crowd control barriers outside the courthouse Friday, but only about five people showed up.
It was a smaller turnout than Thursday, when about 50 people from McAdam, including Mayor Ken Stannix, showed up to voice support for McGillicuddy.
In an interview Thursday, Stannix said he wanted to support "the individuals who allegedly took the law into their own hands."
Another person had been arrested but was released without being charged.
Stannix said he and other community members feel that crimes are being committed against them, and that the RCMP are not responding effectively.
On Thursday, the New Brunswick RCMP issued a statement urging against acts of vigilantism.
"Anyone involved in vigilante activities risk facing arrest and legal proceedings themselves," the RCMP said.
"Taking police matters into your own hands, or condoning those who do, is irresponsible and reckless."