SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - A man accused of striking a woman with a hammer during a home invasion in O’Leary has had his trial postponed.
Ryan James McCarthy, 20, of Forestview, was supposed to start his four-day trial in Summerside provincial courthouse Tuesday morning, however, the Crown requested a delay because a key witness, the RCMP officer who made the arrest, is on sick leave.
A new start day for the trial has been set for Dec., 10 at 9:30 a.m. The proceedings are now expected to take three days.
McCarthy has been under a strict undertaking since his arrest, including house arrest. His undertaking was changed before he left the courthouse Tuesday to loosen some of those restrictions, including giving him greater freedom of movement while he awaits his trial.
The accused is facing five charges, including: breaking and entering into a home, covering his face with intent to commit an indictable offence, assault with a weapon – a hammer, assault and theft with violence.
McCarthy has two co-accused in this case, both of whom were 16-years-old when they were arrested. Because of their age, the boys fall under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and cannot be named.
Though the Crown initially considered prosecuting both boys as adults it was ultimately decided not to do so after one of the accused pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to serve 90 days in a youth correctional facility, 45 days of community-supervised custody and two years of probation. The third co-accused has not yet entered a plea, but is scheduled to do so on Oct. 11.
The RCMP allege that on Jan. 29, two males wearing masks entered an O’Leary home and confronted the two women inside. One of the men was armed with a hammer and the other with a small knife.
The women were forced into a room while the two intruders, one of which is alleged to have been McCarthy, searched the residence for cash.
At some point during the incident, one of the women was struck repeatedly on the head with the hammer. She was later taken to Prince County Hospital via ambulance, treated and released. The second woman was bruised but suffered no serious physical injuries.