Accused Lennox and Addington County arsonist a no-show in court

Bradley is accused of burning down the York Street arena building in Napanee, pictured here as firefighters attempt to extinguish the October 23 blaze at the building, which was the former home of Bradley’s business, Disco Ball Events. Photo by Logan Cadue/Kingstonist.

Accused arsonist Jay Bradley, owner-operator of a former local roller skating business, was scheduled to present his bail plan in Napanee court via video on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, but he never appeared.  

Bradley stands charged with two counts of arson (with disregard for human life), criminal harassment (with threatening conduct), and possession of incendiary material (materials designed to cause or exacerbate fire), for allegedly setting two fires in the early morning hours of Monday, Oct. 23, 2023: one at the old York Street arena in Napanee, which was owned by the Lennox Agricultural Society (LAS), and one at the home of the LAS president and acting secretary-treasurer.

The courtroom at 41 Dundas Street East was empty except for one observer, but online 20 people waited patiently for nearly two hours for Bradley to be brought in to his video appearance in front of Justice of the Peace Deanne L. Chapelle.

What viewers did learn was that, since his first appearance in court on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2023, Bradley has been transferred to the Central East Correctional Centre (CECC), a medium/maximum security prison in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario. A correctional officer usually escorts prisoners to a video room at the facility to allow them to make contact with the officers of the court, but CECC did not open a video line at Bradley’s court-appointed 2:30 p.m. meeting time.

The court clerk attempted to email and call the facility multiple times to find out why Bradley had not been brought to the video room for his appointment. However, after an hour and a half with no email replies or answers to phone calls, Justice Chapelle returned to the bench to thank observers and court employees for their patience.

She turned to Assistant Crown Attorney Paul Kenney, who said he was reluctant to adjourn the matter without speaking to Bradley, but that he understood Chapelle could not wait “indefinitely.”

Chapelle adjourned court and rescheduled Bradley to appear at 2:30 p.m. today, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. Kingstonist will provide coverage of that hearing as soon as possible.

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