Nova Scotia

Threat charge dropped against Halifax lawyer

The Crown has dropped a charge of uttering threats against a Halifax lawyer due to a lack of evidence.

Lyle Howe cleared

Lyle Howe had denied the charge was true. (CBC)

A Halifax lawyer has been cleared of uttering threats due to a lack of evidence.

Lyle Howe faced the charge in relation to an alleged incident in the holding cell at the Spring Garden Road court in September. He was accused of threatening a former client.

The charge was withdrawn Friday.

Mike Taylor, Howe's lawyer, said he had questions as soon as he looked at the surveillance video.

"It showed that he didn't do anything wrong. So I was left wondering, why was the charge laid in the first place? I really was at a loss to understand that, quite frankly," he said.

Howe questioned why it took almost six months for the Crown to decide not to proceed.

"I wonder whether the public questions, in light of the fact there is a piece of exonerating evidence — namely video tape which was mentioned in the media — why it took until trial date for this to be resolved," Howe said.   

Crown prosecutor Andre Arseneau was brought in from Sydney to handle the case to avoid any suggestion of bias from Halifax attorneys who face Howe every day in court.  Arseneau disputed the suggestion it took too long to resolve the matter.

"Actually, in the ordinary flow of things, this is not a lengthy case.  From date of alleged offence, September 28, to today is a reasonable time in the criminal process," he said.

Howe is still facing charges of sexual assault and administering a noxious substance from a separate incident. He's due back in court on those charges in May.