The Crown has stayed assault charges laid against a former sheriff more than a year after a mute man was forcibly removed from the Red Deer courthouse.

In February, a judge agreed there was enough evidence to charge Thomas Bounds with assault and aggravated assault in the December 2011 incident involving Bill Berry.

Surveillance video from the courthouse shows Berry, a throat cancer survivor, being dragged out by a sheriff after entering through the wrong door to pay a speeding ticket.


Bill Berry, who had surgery for throat cancer in 2008, was forcibly removed from a Red Deer, Alta., courthouse in 2011. (CBC)

Although the Alberta Solicitor General found that one of the five sheriffs involved used excessive and unjustified force, no charges were laid.

Berry tried to have the sheriff charged using a rarely-used legal tactic known as private prosecution. 

On Wednesday, Berry’s lawyer was informed by the Assistant Chief Crown Prosecutor that he agreed with the Crown’s original decision that there was no reasonable likelihood of a conviction in the case.

Bounds no longer works for the provincial government.