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Werner guilty of probation breach

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services

Hay River (July 25/05) - Harvey Werner has been convicted of one of three charges arising from a Nov. 23, 2004, incident at the Hay River Courthouse.

Werner, who likens himself an anti-corruption crusader, was convicted of breach of probation on July 22 following a three-day Territorial Court trial.

He was fined $1,000, placed on 18 months' probation and ordered not to have contact with a deputy-sheriff he confronted during the incident. The probation includes a ban from the courthouse, unless he is required to be there.

Judge Murray Thompson said Werner's behaviour during the incident was unacceptable. "Sir, at your age, you need to be able to control yourself," Thompson said.

Werner, 63, was acquitted of assaulting a peace officer and causing a disturbance. On Nov. 23, he confronted a Crown prosecutor in the court lobby about a theft case involving his vehicle. After using loud and abusive language with the female prosecutor, he was refused access to the still-in-session court by a deputy-sheriff, who told Werner to calm down before re-entering.

Werner tried to walk past the sheriff, but was restrained. The confrontation with the prosecutor was witnessed by three people.

However, the judge said he had reasonable doubt about what later happened when Werner and the deputy-sheriff were alone in the lobby, noting an inconsistency in the deputy-sheriff's testimony. The deputy-sheriff testified the prosecutor had gone into court after talking to Werner, but that was contradicted by other witnesses.

Werner was arrested by four RCMP officers, who handcuffed him on the floor and dragged him away.