2005 CanLII 34564 (ONCA)

In 2005 CanLII 34564 (ONCA), Mr. O appealed his conviction of criminal harassment arguing that his criminal record should not have been put to the jury, and that the trial judge had erred in instructing the jury on the elements of harassment and the meaning of beyond a reasonable doubt. His appeals were dismissed.

Mr. O, met the complainant, Ms. F, when she was 15 years old and she was working at her family’s booth at an exhibition. He persuaded her to give him her phone number and began to make calls that progressively became aggressive, threatening and derogatory. She told Mr. O she was not interested in hearing from him or seeing him, but the calls continued. The police gave Mr. O a warning not to call Ms. F anymore, but he persisted. He left a message on her answering machine threatening to rape and kill her and bomb her house and family. He was convicted of uttering threats and was sentenced to 30 days’ imprisonment, three years’ probation including an order not to contact Ms. F.

Shortly afterwards, he sent Ms. F a Christmas card which she threw away.

Nine years later she received a handwritten letter from Mr. O that had been sent from a mental health institute, which made her feel fearful. She showed the police, who copied the letter, and sent the letter back, return to sender. 18 months later she received a second letter, this one mailed from with the city she lived in. The letter was cryptic and seemed to blame her for sending him to jail.

The court held that these two communications could be considered “repeated” communication under the harassment provision. He was convicted of harassment and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, and two years’ probation.

Also see: [2006] SCCA No 199 (SCC); [2005] 66 WCB (2d) 486 (ONCA).


Criminal Offence(s): Criminal Harassment