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Former fire chief has charge reduced to assault from sexual assault, enters guilty plea

For more news from the Hants County Courthouse stay on this website - Mark Goudge
For more news from the Hants County Courthouse stay on this website - Mark Goudge

WINDSOR, N.S. – A former chief of the Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of common assault.

Andrew William McDade, 44, entered the plea in Windsor provincial court Jan. 21. He is due back for sentencing in late March.

McDade was previously charged with sexual assault following an incident that occurred in Three Mile Plains between May 16 and June 14, 2018, but the sexual component was dropped by the Crown during the Jan. 21 court appearance.

John Shanks, McDade’s lawyer in the case, said the assault charge remains because it can apply to any unwanted touching.

“(The Crown) dropped the sexual component of the charge, and he plead guilty to the included charge of common assault, which is just any unwanted touching, but not of a sexual nature,” Shanks said.

“He admits that at one point he patted her on the arm or the shoulder and said, ‘have a nice drive.’ In theory, that’s sufficient to support the charge.”

Read more:

Brooklyn fire chief resigns abruptly from post

A pre-sentence report will be drafted, with sentencing slated to take place March 29.

McDade abruptly resigned as fire chief via email on July 3, 2018.

He was a long-time volunteer firefighter, holding several roles throughout his many years with the organization, and he was employed as the caretaker of the station until his resignation.

The court granted a publication ban to protect the identity of the complainant.

With notes from Carole Morris-Underhill.

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