The 14-year-old boy removed from his Christian high school in March and charged with assault, was denied an opportunity to defend himself against the charges laid against him when he appeared in juvenile court on June 25 (see Interim, April and May issues).

The youth was prepared to answer the assault charge, and an additional charge laid for failing to comply with bail conditions.  On his arrival in court, he was surprised to discover that a third charge of “mischief over” had been laid against him.

Prepared to testify against the young man were four police officers: Irvie, the officer in charge of assault investigations; Wolfgang and his partner, arresting officers at the picket line; and the officer who arrested John at school.  Two abortuary employees, Shane, the guard and “carpenter” David Butt were also on hand.  To complete the array of officers, was a constable well-known to Harbord Street picketers as PC “Stretch” – he sent a picketer to the Don Jail in 1985 for “shouting at him.”  (The conviction was later overturned on appeal.)

The only person to speak during the entire proceedings, was the prosecuting attorney.  She addressed the judge and told him that there was now insufficient evidence to continue with the charge of assault and the Crown wished to use its prerogative to withdraw charges.  She also said that the “mischief over” was “an error” and should be withdrawn.  Because these charges were withdrawn, the Crown decided not to proceed with the “failing to comply” charge.

Since all charges were withdrawn, the youth was allowed to go free.  Although obviously happy that there was no prosecution, he was upset that such frivolous, unsubstantiated charges had been laid in the first place, and that he had unnecessarily been put through detention, fingerprinting, mug shots and bail conditions.

The charges against McCash, Burnie and McDonald which were associated with the youth’s charges will now be heard in Old City Hall, October 20. At an earlier court appearance in May, the court case was delayed to enable a special court with video equipment to be set aside.