Native activist granted bail

Native activist granted bail

October 31, 2007
Paul Legall
The Hamilton Spectator
BRANTFORD (Oct 31, 2007)

A native activist facing robbery, assault and mischief charges was released yesterday after his father pledged another $10,000 in bail money in addition to $35,000 his friends and family put up last week.

The total bail package included $10,000 in cash that a group of supporters in the Haudenosaunee Six Nations had raised through potluck dinners to secure Skyler Williams’ release.

The 24-year-old Six Nations resident had been in custody at the Barton Street jail and Brantford detention centre since Sept. 19 when a heavily armed OPP riot squad removed him and eight other protesters from the Stirling Woods development in Caledonia.

He was charged with mischief and assaulting police to resist arrest after the raid and was already facing outstanding charges of assault and robbery in connection with an attack on two CHCH News television cameramen at the Canadian Tire parking lot in Caledonia on June 9, 2006.

At the time, he also had outstanding breach of probation charges in Brantford and Cornwall.

He was the only Stirling Woods protester denied bail when he appeared before a justice of the peace in Cayuga court last month.

But Superior Court Justice Gerard Taylor conducted a mandatory bail review of the case last Friday and agreed to release him on all the Haldimand County charges. His father, William Williams, had pledged $20,000, and his wife, Stacey Skye, $5,000, in addition to the $10,000 raised by the community.

Taylor said he had grave concerns about whether the accused would obey his bail conditions because he had flouted court orders in the past.

But Taylor was willing to take a chance on releasing him because the community had rallied and had pledged to keep him in line under its own Haudenosaunee laws and traditions.

Williams wasn’t immediately released, however, and spent the next four days in custody awaiting a bail hearing in Brantford on the breach of probation charge.

Assistant Crown attorney Larry Brock agreed to release him after Williams’ father took the witness box and pledged another $10,000.

While awaiting his trial, the younger Williams will be on stringent terms similar to house arrest.

He is to make his next appearance in Cayuga court with the eight other Stirling Woods defendants on Nov. 7.

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