February 7, 2019 12:49 pm

Suspect in Lower Sackville police chase, gas station crash undergoing pre-trial assessment

David Farrell, 38, of Windsor, N.S., is escorted by police out of Dartmouth Provincial Court on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019.

Elizabeth McSheffrey/Global News

The only suspect in a high-speed chase and vehicle crash in Lower Sackville last week is undergoing an extended period of assessment before standing trial.

David Raymond Farrell, 38, of Windsor, N.S., first appeared in Dartmouth Provincial Court on Feb. 1, and appeared again on Feb. 7, where it was ruled he would undergo a 30-day fitness and responsibility assessment at the request of the East Coast Forensic Hospital.

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“Fitness being whether he can provide instructions at the time to his lawyer, and the NCR [Not Criminally Responsible] assessment is to determine criminal responsibility at the time of the offence,” explained Crown attorney Bryson McDonald.

“He’ll be back in (court) on March 8 and we’ll see the results of the assessment order.”

READ MORE: Suspect faces slew of charges after machete carjacking leads to police chase, gas station crash

Farrell is facing 18 criminal charges in relation to a crime spree on Jan. 31, that allegedly includes leading RCMP officers in a chase down the wrong direction of Highway 101, forcing several cars off the road, before crashing a vehicle.

He is then believed to have stolen a truck belonging to a bystander who stopped to help, while armed with a machete, before proceeding to exit the highway and crashing that truck into a Circle K store and Irving gas station at the corner of Lower Sackville Drive and Beaver Bank Road.

Two individuals suffered serious injuries in the crash — Michael Bowser, a father of three who was buying milk inside the Circle K store at the time, and a young cashier who worked there.

WATCH: Lower Sackville crash survivor talks recovery

RCMP are still investigating what they have called a “notable” case on their books, and are still in search of any witnesses, dash-cam footage or pictures of the incident. They have not been able to confirm whether Farrell was previously known to police or has any previous criminal record.

Farrell remains in custody, and was escorted by police in chains, for both of his court dates. On each occasion, he concealed his face with a light-coloured hoodie.

The charges against him include dangerous operation of a conveyance, robbery with violence, mischief endangering life, attempted assault with a weapon, and operation of a conveyance while impaired, causing bodily harm.

As of this date, he has not retained a defence lawyer and will be represented by duty counsel.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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