September 26, 2013
For The New Brunswick Beacon
BY: NICOLA MACLEOD
Charges have been dropped against a Fredericton man accused of harassing two high school girls.
Dwayne Craig agreed to sign a peace bond moments before his scheduled trial started this morning.
Between February 25 and March 28, Craig allegedly confronted the victims on several occasions due to incidents occurring between his teenage daughter and the girls. Confrontations were both over Facebook and in person at a Fredericton McDonald’s.
“There is a severe problem of bullying at McDonald’s,” Craig told the court.
Judge Kenneth Oliver interjected.
“But there are other people that can investigate that,” said Judge Oliver. He suggested that Craig not take matters into his own hands.
Instead of going to trial, Craig signed a bond saying he would keep the peace between himself and the victims and be on good behavior.
He is not to have any contact with the victims or go to their homes or workplaces for 12 months. Craig agreed to the facts presented by the court instead of pleading guilty, mainly that he caused fear in the two victims. It is not a criminal conviction.
If Craig violates the terms of the bond, he could go to jail for up to 12 months.
“If that happens it is considered a criminal offence,” added Judge Oliver.
Craig has already had contact with one of the victims. He unknowingly entered into a Fredericton gas station where she works. He immediately left.
He is also not to visit the homes or workplaces of any of the victim’s family members, though Judge Oliver highlighted the difficulty of controlling that. The term was added because one of the victims lives with her grandmother.
Parental involvement in bullying is not a new topic in the province. Some parents go as far as pulling their children out of school or hiring a bodyguard.
In 2012, then Education Minister Jody Carr promised the Conservatives would introduce stronger anti-bullying laws.
“I can’t speak for you, but I would say that if you could go back, you would have done things differently,” said Judge Oliver.
Craig hesitantly nodded his head.