Police believe Saskatoon bomb suspect set off explosion to avoid court date, says accused's lawyer

Sask.'s zero-tolerance policy will hurt medical marijuana users, Crohn's patient says

According to the lawyer of the accused, police believe whoever set off a bomb outside of a Saskatoon courthouse did so to get out of their next appearance.

Attorney Mark Brayford said police believe his client Rodney Wilkie set fire to a backpack full of disposable propane tanks and caused the explosion that damaged an entryway to the courthouse at the end of March.

Those allegations have not been proven in court and Wilkie has yet to plead innocent or guilty. He made a brief court appearance Wednesday morning. 

Wilkie, 44, is facing several charges, including intent to cause an explosion to cause serious bodily harm or death or property damage, recklessly cause damage by explosion, threats to cause damage, and obstruction of justice.

Police arrested Wilkie after he allegedly made call a threatening police, warning them that more explosions could be on the way.  

"I think we can take comfort in the fact that ... it was cosmetic damage that occurred here at the courthouse and that this relatively unsophisticated incident didn't lead to anyone getting hurt," Brayford said at the site of the explosion outside of provincial court Wednesday. 

He added that those facts should play into the case. 

"It wasn't as though this was some sort of sophisticated pipe bomb or anything," he said. "This was a fire that caused a disposable propane tank to explode. And obviously whoever did it, it was a foolish way to get an adjournment in court."

Police have stressed there was nothing linking the explosion to international terrorism, and that the bomb in question was low grade. 

Wilkie is due back in court on May 11.