One of the owners of a Yarmouth inn acted quickly to protect a guest after a man broke into the building and forced himself into one of the rooms this past spring, a Yarmouth courtroom heard.
Christopher Joseph Bourque of Beaver River – 34 when the incident occurred – recently entered guilty pleas in provincial court in Yarmouth to charges laid in connection with an incident that occurred at the MacKinnon Cann Inn on Willow Street in late May.
Charges laid following the incident had included charges of robbery, sexual assault, break and enter and assault causing bodily harm, among other charges.
After entering guilty pleas in provincial court in Yarmouth, the Crown outlined the facts of the case to Judge Tim Landry. The courtroom heard that on the May 29, Bourque, who had consumed alcohol, broke into the basement of the inn. The Crown said he went to where the guest rooms were located and forced himself into a room that was occupied by a female guest.
The guest told him he had the wrong room. Rather than leave he approached the woman. During the incident he grabbed her and attempted to kiss her. He tried to prevent her from calling out for help by covering her mouth. He also asked her for money. The woman was able to scream, which drew the attention of others in the building.
Very quickly one of the owners of the inn, Neil Hisgen, entered the room. The woman was able to flee while the owner managed to get Bourque down the stairs and out the front door.
As the inn’s owner called 911 the court says he heard a sound upstairs.
“He found the accused had re-entered the property and was in the complainant’s room again. He was holding her purse,” the Crown said. “He told him to leave and another physical altercation began. At one point (Bourque) asked the owner if he wanted to bring this to another level.”
The court was told the owner perceived this to be a threat to his safety and focused on removing the man from the property, which he was able to do. The police arrived and were given a description of the suspect, who was located at a residence and was arrested.
In the inn’s basement a backpack and a phone and charger that he had left behind was found.
The judge was told when Bourque was interviewed by the police, he initially stated he had no memory of the events. However, he eventually admitted to breaking into the building.
The inn’s owner was treated at the hospital. He had sustained a broken collarbone in during the scuffle. The RCMP had said at the time of the incident that the female victim was treated on scene for injuries.
Bourque has been in custody since his arrest. He will be sentenced on Dec. 20. The later sentencing date is because time was needed for the preparation of court reports and also due to the same-day availability of the judge and the female victim (who lives outside of the area). Victim impact statements will be read into the record on the day of the sentencing.
Bourque will also be sentenced on other charges that he has pleaded guilty to in other unrelated matters before the court. The court was told of an incident in September 2018 in which he was intoxicated and accused his partner of cheating on him. He brandished a knife and issued a threat. There were no injuries.
Another incident occurred over what was called a dispute over dogs. The court was told Bourque sent a Facebook message to a person and made a threatening phone call to cause property damage. The court was told it was evident during his phone call that he had been drinking.