2014 BCPC 197

In 2014 BCPC 197, a 20-year-old man, W, threatened to distribute a stolen cell phone video of his underage classmate having sex with her boyfriend. Mr. W told the victim that he would post the video to Facebook if she did not send him five nude photos within 24 hours. When he did not receive the photos, he sent the explicit video to some of her Facebook friends. He also posted the video on a pornography website with her full name in the video title. The victim was devastated, quit school, and became depressed.

Mr. W was sentenced to 60-days imprisonment, served on the weekends. The Court held that mitigating factors on sentencing included Mr. W’s guilty plea, his remorse, and the fact that he was a youthful first offender. Aggravating factors on sentencing included the fact that he threatened to post the video online and later posted it on a pornography site. The Court also found that Mr. W’s actions were “planned and deliberate [and] done with the intention to humiliate and embarrass [the victim].”[1]

The Court noted that Mr. W’s offences put the Court in the “position of not being able to impose a sentence that can correct the situation” because his conduct was “just about hurt and […] was mean, terribly mean.”[2] Yet, as the Court warned, “What is to be taken from this decision is this: For those who wish to prey on the vulnerability of others to take advantage of their vulnerability even with significant mitigating factors that are present in this case, you are going to jail.”[3]

[1] 2014 BCPC 197 at para 18.
[2] 2014 BCPC 197 at para 20.
[3] 2014 BCPC 197 at para 30.


Criminal Offence(s): Extortion