Longue Sault P.S. arsonist in trouble again

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

LONG SAULT – A South Stormont man, convicted to setting fire to Longue Sault Public School in October 2016 and harassing school staff, has found himself in trouble with the law again.

William “Liam” McDonald, 22, was arrested Saturday (April 29) and charged with possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of a controlled substance and failing to comply with a probation order.

SD&G O.P.P. officers had responded to a complaint about a man having a firearm in his possession. Some marijuana was also found during the arrest.

In January 2017, McDonald was given a two month house arrest sentence, which the judge called a “controlled release into the community,” followed by two months of curfew and then two years probation. Court had taken into credit his 88 days of custody.

He had pleaded guilty to charges of mischief, break and enter with arson, possession of marijuana, criminal harassment and failing to comply with a recognizance.

Court heard that his flat Earth beliefs had “consumed him” leading to the harassment of Longue Sault Public School staff and several acts of vandalism, which included setting fire to the building, in October 2016.

Part of McDonald’s conditions from that sentence were not to possess weapons for 10 years.

“I’ve moved on. I know I can keep to myself pretty much,” McDonald told the court during his sentencing Jan. 30, 2017.

At the time, Judge Deborah Kinsella said McDonald’s mental health issues were “exacerbated by Mr. McDonald getting sucked into or involved with a number of conspiracy theories on the internet.”

Court also heard that McDonald was trying to get on the right path by getting methadone treatment for his drug addiction.

Judge Kinsella said it was important for those in the court to know the purpose of the judicial system is not to “criminalize thought…but when those beliefs are foisted upon others in a manner than causes harm…then the courts must and will get involved.”

As for these latest charges, McDonald is in bail court in Cornwall today (May 3).