POLITICS

Woman charged with assault agrees not to contact Nova Scotia cabinet minister

01/09/2015 03:07 EST | Updated 03/11/2015 05:59 EDT
HALIFAX - A woman charged with assaulting a Nova Scotia cabinet minister has signed an undertaking that she will not try to contact him or his wife.

Court documents say 28-year-old Tara Gault must abstain from contacting Andrew Younger or his wife Katia, as well as another woman, except through legal counsel.

The information sworn on Friday says Gault is charged with assaulting Younger on or about Oct. 22, 2013, the day the Liberal government took power after the last provincial election.

The case returns to Halifax provincial court on Jan. 28.

Younger, the member of the legislature for Dartmouth East, requested a temporary leave from his ministerial duties on Dec. 23, citing unspecified personal matters.

He has been stripped of his ministerial compensation of about $49,000 but is maintaining his salary as a legislature member, which is about $89,000.

Media reports Tuesday citing unnamed sources said Younger was allegedly assaulted in October 2013 by a woman who was a Liberal staffer.

Younger has declined comment on the reports and he reiterated that he would not comment in a statement issued on Wednesday.

He also took issue with the media reports about the alleged assault.

"A significant portion of the information reported as fact in the news and social media about the incident police allege to have occurred against me has been inaccurate and speculative, which is unfair to all those involved in this matter and those close to them," he said.

Younger didn't offer specifics about the inaccuracies.

Premier Stephen McNeil has said Younger will be allowed to remain on leave from cabinet for as long as it takes him to deal with the personal issues he is facing.

On Thursday, McNeil said he didn't hear that his energy minister was a victim of an alleged assault until the media reports.

"I heard nothing related to any of my staff or any elected members in any way," McNeil said at the time. "If I had, I would've responded to them at the time I'd heard of them."