Two brothers who were arrested and charged with assault causing bodily harm in Fort Fraser in July 2009 have had their case thrown out as a result of court delays.
Kevin and Rodney Kaiser were charged with assaulting Boyd Lackey in a Fort Fraser residence. Kevin Kaiser was also charged with assaulting Lackey’s mother.
The trial for the men was originally scheduled to go ahead at the Vanderhoof law courts on July 26, 2010.
After three days, other court matters got in the way and the case was adjourned and no date for the continuance of the trial was set.
Last month a Prince George judge dismissed the assault case after he found that the two-year trial delay violated the rights of the two brothers.
Many towns across the province are experiencing problems with their court services, but the issue is particularly bad in Vanderhoof and Fort St. James.
In 2009, 77 per cent of the 306 court files in Vanderhoof were either withdrawn or had a stay of proceedings because the case did not go to court in reasonable time.
“Only about 20 per cent of the charges that are sent to court ever get heard in court … it’s just totally inadequate,” said Vanderhoof mayor Gerry Thiessen.
“Our issue is we don’t have enough court time … we have less court time then basically any other town our own size, and we have less court time than many towns that are less than half the size of us so it isn’t financially responsible for the government to do this because they’re just wasting a lot of money,” he added.
Director of Court Services for the Northern B.C., Chris Nickerson, has been speaking with the mayor about the issues and is now working on a pilot project that may help fix the problem.
Nickerson is expected to be in Vanderhoof this week to meet with the mayor about solutions for the issues with court services in town.