2010 ONCJ 3584

In 2010 ONCJ 3584, 23-year-old Mr. G appealed his conviction and sentence of criminal harassment. Mr. G was convicted of criminal harassment after sending his ex-girlfriend incessant MSN messages and annoying emails, repeatedly phoning her, and making surprise visits to her home. On one occasion he yelled at her, backed her into a wall and put his arms on either side of her, frightening her. During their on again and off again relationship, their online conversations varied between fighting, light banter, and sexual conversation. At one point he said he would follow her and sit next to her in class, which made her feel fearful. Once they were back in school and no longer dating, Mr. G messaged Ms. C and stared at her in class in ways that made her uncomfortable. The trial judge concluded that G’s conduct caused the victim emotional distress and made her fear for her safety. The fear was found reasonable, “especially having regard to the defendant’s mood swings.”[1]

At appeal, the conviction was quashed and an acquittal was entered. The appellant judge found that the trial judge erred in concluding that Ms. C feared for her safety and that her fear was reasonable. Mr. G’s contact was persistent, childish, and annoying but not threatening or harassing, and even if it were, the judge found that there was no evidence that would support a finding that Ms. C reasonably feared for her safety.

Also see: 2009 ONCJ 28 (Trial).

[1] 2009 ONCJ 28 at para 40.


Criminal Offence(s): Criminal Harassment