Charges against police officers tossed due to court delays
A Surrey RCMP officer and a Transit Police officer accused of assaulting a hospitalized senior three years ago have had their charges stayed because the case took too long to get to trial.
RCMP Const. Mitchell Spears was facing one count of assault and one of assault with a weapon for allegedly using a Taser on a 73-year-old man in April 2010.
Const. Ken Jansen, with the South Coast of B.C. Transportation Authority Police Service, was charged with one count of assault in connection with the same incident.
Surrey's Robert Keith Booker was arrested at his home under the Mental Health Act for acting in a threatening way toward his landlord and carrying a knife.
He was taken to the hospital for assessment and it was there the officers allegedly assaulted Booker, who also suffered a facial cut that required stitches.
Last month, lawyers for Spears and Jansen argued the court delays were unreasonable and requested the charges be stayed. Both officers have been suspended with pay since fall 2010.
On Wednesday afternoon (March 6), Judge Ronald Lamperson tossed the charges out of court, calling the nearly two-year delay in reaching trial "not reasonable" and agreeing the accuseds' Charter rights had been "infringed."
Outside court, Booker, now 77 years old, said he was "totally disgusted" with the legal system. He said he may pursue a civil suit.