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Quebec election night shooting defendant appears in court

Richard Bain arrives in court in Montreal in 2012.

Patrick Sanfaçon/La Presse photo

The hunting-lodge operator charged in Quebec's deadly election-night shooting says he went to the Parti Québécois's celebration rally in downtown Montreal to stop Premier Pauline Marois from delivering her victory speech.

The admission came as Richard Henry Bain appeared in court in what has become his customary style – voicing grievances, a stream of anti-separatist political views, and his faith in Christ.

Mr. Bain is charged with 16 criminal counts including murder, attempted murder and arson. He is accused of murdering lighting technician Denis Blanchette outside the Métropolis nightclub while Ms. Marois was addressing jubilant party supporters inside.

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Mr. Bain, who was representing himself in court Wednesday, made no attempt to hide his presence at the nightclub on Sept. 4.

"I was at the Métropolis ," he told Quebec Court Judge Jean-Paul Braun. "I went there so that Mrs. Marois could not have her speech or her party. I was there."

Mr. Braun cautioned Mr. Bain that his words could be used against him in legal proceedings. He also strongly urged the outspoken 62-year-old to get a lawyer. "It's very difficult for a person to defend himself and properly represent himself within the criminal system," said Judge Braun, who showed notable forbearance toward Mr. Bain during his frequent outbursts.

The court set aside 11 days beginning May 2 for Mr. Bain's preliminary inquiry, at which prosecutors plan to call 33 witnesses.

Mr. Bain, as has become typical during his court appearances, stood in the prisoner's enclosure, addressing questions to the judge and expressing his personal views to the court. These include his belief that Montreal should separate and become a province; that he is being mistreated at his east-end Montreal detention centre; and that he should be transferred to a prison in Ontario.

At the suggestion he seek a lawyer, Mr. Bain said he was not worried about his case, since he had "full faith and trust in Jesus Christ." He has been declared fit to stand trialalthough the psychiatrist who evaluated him said she was unable to reach a definitive conclusion about his mental state.

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About the Author

Ingrid Peritz has been a Montreal-based correspondent for The Globe and Mail since 1998. Her reporting on the plight of Canadians suffering from the damaging effects of the drug thalidomide helped victims obtain federal compensation and earned The Globe and Mail a National Newspaper Award, Canadian Journalism Foundation award, and the Michener Award for public service. More

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