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Sahtu

Former Norman Wells mayor still can't be found by police


An arrest warrant is still active for former Norman Wells mayor Nathan Watson after he failed to show up in Territorial Court last month to be sentenced on a drug charge.

At an earlier trial, Watson tried to convince a judge the two baggies of cocaine police found in his jacket pocket weren’t his.

Watson testified at trial that his jacket – emblazoned with his name and the words Town of Norman Wells – was on the back of a chair with other coats while he was drinking at a house party in the fall of 2017.

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But Judge Garth Malakoe wasn’t buying the defence that someone had tried to frame Watson by planting 3.2 grams of cocaine in his jacket and had tipped off police about it

Impaired driving charges were stayed by the Crown.

Malakoe found Watson guilty on March 1, but didn’t sentence him as he was allowed not to be at the hearing.

At a later scheduled appearance in April, Watson was also a no-show as his truck had apparently broken down between Edmonton and Yellowknife.

The court finally issued an arrest warrant on May 10.

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A couple of weeks after his arrest in 2017, Watson and the entire town council were thrown from office by the GNWT due to “operational difficulties.”

An administrator was installed to run the town after the GNWT investigated allegations of conflicts of interest and failure to follow proper procedures.

The day Watson skipped court in May, lawyers representing the town of Norman Wells were in the building looking to serve him with notice of a lawsuit.

As previously reported, both Catherine Mallon – the former senior administrative officer – and Watson had been served civil suits from the Town of Norman Wells regarding alleged fraudulent activities.

The suit claims Mallon defrauded the community of more than $1.25 million. Watson is alleged to have allowed her to claim thousands of hours of overtime pay. (The Town does not allow such pay to be claimed.)

Man sexually assaults mother-in-law

In a separate case, a man with a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1988 will spend more time behind bars for sexually assaulting the 70-year-old mother of his common-law partner.

He was also convicted of severely beating that partner in Tuktoyaktuk a few months prior to sexually assaulting her mother, a Yellowknife court heard recently.

The man, now 50, can’t be named as it would identify his victims.

A pre-sentence report shows alcohol was involved on the night of the sexual assault.

“She thinks about the assault and cries all the time,” stated a victim impact report from the senior.

NWT Chief Judge Christine Gagnon sentenced the man to a total of 909 days for the sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, and two breaches of court orders.

With 269 days of remand credit, the man has 640 days remaining behind bars.

Man jailed for attempting to bribe woman

In a third case, a man ordered by the court not to contact a woman he was accused of sexually assaulting did just that – with a financial proposition in mind.

In court on Monday, Stuart Campbell was sentenced to four months in jail followed by 18 months of probation for obstructing justice and also violating a bail condition.

The probation includes an order not to have any contact with the woman.

The sexual assault charge was stayed by the Crown without explanation.

Court heard Campbell, 26, offered the woman between $500 and $1,000 not to testify against him. She refused the offer.

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