Crickets loose in courthouse

Insects dropped outside judge's chambers

    by Andrew Raven

    Northern News Services\

    May 11, 2005

A biblical-type plague descended on Yellowknife Courthouse, Friday morning after Mark Bogan dumped live crickets outside the offices of several territorial Supreme Court Judges

Police believe the leaping insects were deposited shortly after the downtown courthouse opened for business around 8:30 a.m.

Attempts by Yellowknifer to contact Bogan about his raid were unsuccessful. According to information supplied by David Prichard, Bogan's act was in league with a Canada wide Fathers 4 Justice protest.

Police investigators identified a suspect, but had not interviewed the person as of Friday afternoon said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Mike Bradford.

Investigators were spotted on the second floor of the courthouse outside of the Judge's chambers, taking pictures of the scene. The inch-long blackish brown crickets - which can jump 20 to 30 times their own body length and have ears on their knees - had been cleaned up by 9:30 a.m. Crickets are not considered dangerous but can make an annoying piecing "chirp".

The location of the crickets led to speculation that they may have been dropped by someone who was unhappy with a judicial decision, police say.

Troubling incident

This is troubling." Justice Brenda Bell said Friday afternoon. "Clearly this was someone who was not happy with the judiciary."

Bell said department officers would discuss the incident with police and decide if security at the courthouse which occupies three floors of a downtown office building needs to be upgraded.

"We take the security of our judges seriously," bell said.

The department cited concerns about security in their proposal to construct a new, 41 million courthouse near the legislative assembly.

Police did not say how they identified the suspect. There are cameras throughout the courthouse and signs warning that the building is monitored by cameras.