Matter of accused Napanee arsonist adjourned again

Jay Bradley, seen here in a video he posted to YouTube on October 16, 2023, in which he details the collapse of his businessScreen captured image.

The wheels of justice grind slowly, as they say, and Jay Bradley’s latest court appearance provided more proof of that adage.

Bradley, who stands accused of arson in two suspicious fires last month, appeared in Napanee bail court again today, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, and again the hearing was adjourned, this time until Monday, Nov. 27, 2023.

Last week, Bradley’s attorney, Brian Wilcock, requested a week’s adjournment because, he said, he had requested disclosure from the Crown but had not yet received it. Disclosure is the term used to describe the package which contains the Crown’s evidence against an accused person. It may consist of a record of arrest, video footage, synopsis of the allegations, police notes, and witness statements, among other things.

This week, Wilcock’s law partner, Mark Snider, appeared on his behalf and explained that, although they had now received disclosure from the Crown, they had yet to speak to Bradley about it. According to Snider, an access to defence phone call had been arranged between Wilcock and Bradley earlier this week, but Bradley was not brought to the phone by officers at Central East Correctional Centre (CECC), where he has been incarcerated since his arrest.

This is the second known time Bradley has been absent when he was scheduled to speak to members of the court, due to apparent problems at CECC. On November 7, 2023, Justice of the Peace Deanne Chapelle waited nearly two hours for Bradley, who was never brought before her for an appearance.

The Bradley matter continues to be of keen interest, as again around 20 observers were present online; many were reporters from several news outlets. However, they were once again disappointed this week, as the bail hearing was adjourned for the sixth time since his arrest in early November.

Bradley is the former owner-operator of a roller skating rink operated out of the old arena on York Street in Napanee, from which he had been recently evicted following a dispute with the property’s management. That building — the Lennox Agricultural Memorial Community Centre — along with a residential property near Yarker, burned down in the early morning hours of Monday, Oct. 23, 2023. The residential property belongs to the current president/secretary-treasurer of the Lennox Agricultural Society, which oversaw the operations of the Community Centre.

On the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 3, 2023, officers from Lennox & Addington County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) arrested and charged 49-year-old Jay Nelson Bradley, of Kingston, with the following offences with regard to the suspicious fires:

  • Two counts of Arson – Disregard for Human Life
  • Criminal Harassment – Threatening Conduct
  • Possession of Incendiary Material.

Bradley has since been awaiting court while incarcerated at the CECC, a medium/maximum security provincial prison located in Lindsay, in the municipality of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario.

Kingstonist will continue to provide updated coverage of this matter as more information becomes available.

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