Nova Scotia

MacIntosh out of jail pending appeal

Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh has been released from jail pending his appeal of his convictions for sex crimes against boys in Nova Scotia in the 1970s.
Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh has been released from jail while he appeals his sexual abuse convictions. ((CBC))
Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh has been released from jail while he appeals his convictions for sexually abusing two boys in Nova Scotia in the 1970s.

MacIntosh, 67, was granted bail on Thursday after putting up $60,000 as surety and surrendering a property he owns in Port Hawkesbury.

Justice Joel Fichaud of the Nova Court of Appeal ruled MacIntosh would remain under house arrest. He is allowed to leave his Dartmouth apartment only for medical or court-related appointments.

MacIntosh was remanded to custody until the Crown and defence lawyers worked out some paperwork regarding conditions of release and the property in Port Hawkesbury, but it was expected MacIntosh would be released by the weekend.

Outside the courtroom, defence lawyer Brian Casey said the decision was justified given his client had fully complied with his bail conditions for about 28 months while he waited for his trial to begin.

"He's now been given house arrest, which keeps him physically in his apartment, so there's no practical worry he's going to fail to show up," Casey told reporters.

"I'm sure [the complainants] are not happy with the fact that he is not going to have to stay in custody until the appeal court decides the outcome of his appeal but this process is about balancing their interests with the need to get the decision right."

The Crown opposed MacIntosh's release.

The former businessman was convicted on 13 of 26 sex-related charges. He was sentenced last month to four years in jail, but given credit for the two years he has already spent behind bars.

His appeal will be heard on May 10.

One of MacIntosh's victims, whose identity is protected by a court order but who is referred to in court documents as D.S., told CBC News he couldn't understand the judge's decision.

"I was starting to regain a bit of confidence in our system, but obviously I was wrong," he said.

"Why is it about the accused? Why is it about the criminal? What about the victims? The judge forgot the victims, completely forgot the victims."

MacIntosh is also facing a second trial on charges of indecent assault and gross indecency. That trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 6.

With files from The Canadian Press