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Nichele Benn enters not guilty plea in assault case

Nichelle Benn waits for the start of provincial court in Dartmouth on Jan. 15, 2014. Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press

HALIFAX – A 27-year-old woman with an intellectual disability who is accused of biting and striking a staff member at a care facility in Nova Scotia has pleaded not guilty to assault charges.

Nichele Benn entered the plea Monday in Dartmouth provincial court to the charges of assault and assault with a weapon.

Her trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 31.

Brenda Hardiman says her daughter shouldn’t be before the courts because she has an organic brain disorder.

Police allege the young woman bit and hit an employee with a foam letter and a shoe at the Quest Regional Rehabilitation Centre in Halifax on Dec. 12.

A spokesman for the Halifax police has said officers also have to consider the alleged victim when laying charges in cases like Benn’s.

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