Volume 92, Issue 49

Tuesday, December 1, 1998



Haynes faces court for first time

By Sabrina Carinci
Gazette Staff

In a courtroom full of strangers, but supported by his parents, first-year Western student and member of the Mustang football team Preston Haynes made his first appearance in court on Friday morning.

At the appearance, Haynes' charge was read out to him and he was given a disclosure package containing, among other things, witness statements, said Haynes' lawyer, Murray Neilson. Haynes' next court date was also set for Dec. 22.

Haynes is being charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm and failure to stop at the scene of an accident, after allegedly hitting Ian Munroe, a first-year engineering student, just outside of J.W. Little Stadium on Oct. 2.

Munroe, who has a broken leg as a result of the car accident, said although he is ahead of schedule in terms of healing, he believes he might have a permanent limp.

Munroe said despite all that has happened, he does not hold a grudge towards Haynes and would like to meet him. "This is not something I've dwelled on. I would like to talk to Preston. I want him to know that this isn't OK, but I don't want him to do any time," he said.

Although Munroe has had to make a lot of sacrifices because of his injury, he said he looks forward to going home for the holidays and forgetting about the entire semester. "My family is upset. It's been harder on my mom than me. This isn't the way I wanted my first year to be," he said.

Western's VP-administration, Peter Mercer, said the university's position on the matter has not changed. He said the issue at hand is a criminal one and will be dealt with as such.

Dennis Haynes, Preston's father, said his family is faced with a great deal of paint, but are dealing with the situation together. "It's a very stressful time for the boy – we're all suffering very much by it," he said.

Neilson said Preston was extremely disappointed with the outcome of the Mustang's 33-17 loss against the Saskatchewan Huskies in the Churchill Bowl.

"This is a football family," Dennis said. He added Preston was upset he could not participate in the game. "The situation is hurting Preston tremendously – he wants to play."

"We mean no one harm," Dennis said, adding his family has been unable to contact the Munroes for legal reasons. "Our heart, as a family, goes out to the victim and his parents. We do feel for them because it could have been my son," he said.

"I haven't said a bad thing yet about Preston because our lives are too short to be mad at each other," Munroe said. He did admit, however, he intends to file a civil case.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998