Wednesday , 23 September 2020

St. Paul business owner’s arson charges stayed in court

The courts have stayed charges against the former owner of Power Merchants in St. Paul accused of arson on his buildings in 2018.

Jerry Bidulock was facing two counts of arson on his property and one count of arson for a fraudulent purpose on his two commercial buildings in St. Paul after a fire on Aug. 7, 2018.

The stayed charges effectively mean prosecution will end unless there are new charges brought against Bidulock.

Then the original charges can be brought back to the courts within a year.

“Having been wrongfully accused via blurred assumptions and innuendo, quite recently, on 2020/02/20 I learned that I am now cleared of all charges,” he said in an emailed statement.

“Although this brings considerable relief, I have mixed feelings as to what is needed for a comprehensive resolution.

“While not having been given the reason(s) for the Crown’s actions, it is my hope that some circumstance or new information might have brought the investigation closer to the real cause of the business catastrophe of Aug. 7, 2018.”

St. Paul RCMP and St. Paul Fire concluded after an investigation that the fires were deliberately set.

Both fires were extinguished with help also from Mallaig Fire and there were no injuries reported.

Police said they arrested Bidulock in Edmonton in March 2019.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connect Media. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.