[1990] NBJ No 441 (NBQB)

In [1990] NBJ No 441 (NBQB), Mr. S made repeated calls to his former employer, a university security department. He would not say anything when one of the security guards picked up the phone. He called 14 times in 8 minutes, each time Mr. M picked up. At the trial level Mr. S was acquitted of making harassing phone calls. The trial judge held that a silent call could not amount to an intent to harass, as it could only be annoying.

On appeal, court disagreed, and found that the silent calls on their own were sufficient and no words needed to be spoken for the calls to be harassing. It also found that harassment was synonymous with annoyance and that Mr. M had been harassed by the calls. It also held that the “caller does not have to have a particular person in mind as the target of his harassment. One who picks a telephone number at random, for instance, and makes repeated calls to that number without any idea of the identity of the person or persons at the receiving end may thereby commit an offence against s. 372(3).”[1]

The acquittal was set aside and Mr. S was sentenced to an absolute discharge.

[1] [1990] NBJ No 441 (NBQB) at para 17.


Criminal Offence(s): Harassing Communications