Man accused of attempted murder of ex-girlfriend denied bail again

A Quebec man who fled to France two and a half years ago after being charged in Victoria with two counts of attempted murder has been denied bail for the second time in six weeks.

Sebastien Normandin, 49, will remain in custody at Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre until his trial by judge and jury in B.C. Supreme Court.

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No trial date has been set. A two-day preliminary inquiry was to be held May 25 and 26, but is to be rescheduled because of the virus.

Normandin, 49, was initially arrested on Dec. 27, 2016, after he allegedly used his car to ram the parked car of his former girlfriend and her new boyfriend on Gillespie Place in Victoria’s Rockland neighbourhood.

Normandin is also charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, criminal harassment and assault of his ex-girlfriend in 2014 and assault causing bodily harm to his ex-girlfriend in 2015.

In April, Normandin applied for bail in Victoria provincial court, but was denied. During the hearing, Crown prosecutor Jess Patterson and defence lawyer Jordan Watt made their submissions by phone because of the COVID-19 crisis. The submissions and the decision by Judge Adrian Brooks cannot be reported because they are protected by a publication ban.

On Monday, Normandin applied for a bail review in B.C. Supreme Court and was again unsuccessful. There is a ban on the submissions and evidence made at the hearing, as well as Justice Robert Johnston’s reason for detaining Normandin.

After his initial arrest in December 2016, Normandin remained in custody until May 30, 2017. Judge Jennifer Barrett agreed to release him on $5,000 bail with the condition that he fly to Montreal to live there.

Initially, Normandin was required to live at a specific address in Montreal and to report to police in person.

In mid-October 2017, a Montreal psychologist who was treating Normandin as part of his bail conditions notified the Saanich bail supervisor that Normandin had missed an appointment. The bail supervisor contacted Montreal police, who found Normandin had not signed in since Oct. 15.

Police obtained a still photograph of Normandin going through customs at Pearson International Airport in Toronto on Oct. 21, 2017, as he boarded a flight to England.

He went to France the day he arrived in England.

Interpol began searching for him, posting his photograph and physical details online.

Normandin, who has a PhD in history from McGill University and is a former university instructor, remained active on Facebook and Twitter after he jumped bail. Victoria police found him by using tracking software and search warrants.

Normandin co-operated with the French authorities who arrested him in September 2018. Then local investigators began the lengthy process of working with Interpol, the Department of Justice and the RCMP to secure Normandin’s extradition back to Canada to stand trial.

The extradition process took 12 months and involved court proceedings in France and authorization from the French prime minister. Normandin was extradited to Canada on Oct. 18, 2019.

Three Victoria police detectives flew to Paris to arrest Normandin and escort him back to Canada.

ldickson@timescolonist.com

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