March 1st, 2024

Local man known for arson in custody for breach of current charge conditions

By Medicine Hat News on January 31, 2024.

@MedicineHatNews

A Medicine Hat man with a criminal record for starting fires is in custody after police say he broke release conditions on a new set of arson allegations.

Joseph Russel Haynes, 51, was charged in September after fire and police crews were called to a back alley fire in northeast Crescent Heights that destroyed a travel trailer and damaged a garage.

On Tuesday, Haynes was scheduled to appear in Alberta Court of Justice in Medicine Hat for a scheduled bail hearing, but through duty counsel has requested an adjournment to secure a lawyer.

The matter was moved to Feb. 6.

Court documents obtained by the News state that Haynes was under 24-hour house arrest as a condition of his release. That included a requirement to present at the door during random police checks.

On Jan. 19, a Medicine Hat Police Service officer laid charge that Haynes contravened that condition and that the man also took a relative’s motor vehicle without permission, which is a summary criminal offence.

In September, Haynes was also charged with breaking court-ordered conditions stemming from his arrest and release on two arson charges in August.

Haynes pleaded guilty to one count of arson in 2012 and was sentenced to serve eight months in jail and two years probation to close a police investigation of seven separate small fires in the same area in 2011.

In 1995 he was found not criminally responsible for setting five fires in Victoria, B.C. that badly damages three residences.

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