SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2014 ONCA 324 Mr. S persistently communicated with his ex-wife using a fake Facebook ac-count. During the couple’s marriage, Mr. S monitored his wife’s phone calls, tried to install tracking devices on her computer, tried to break into her email and MSN accounts, and used a pseudonym on Facebook to communicate with her. After they separated, Mr. S created a Face-book profile pretending to be a recently divorced man and used the fake account to ask his ex-wife for relationship advice and try and extract information about her. Although his ex-wife quickly figured out the ruse, she played along, telling him that he needed to move on with his life. There was evidence that Mr. S was obsessed with his ex-wife, including keeping semi-nude photos of her after their break up and sneaking into her house to look at her under the covers while she slept.
After messaging back and forth using the fake account, Mr. S went to his estranged wife’s home and strangled her in bed. After taking their daughter to his parent’s house, he then re-turned to the murder site to attempt suicide and to have sex with the victim’s corpse. Mr. S had used his wife’s cellphone to send messages to and call several people, one of which suggested the murder was premeditated. Mr. S was found guilty of first-degree murder but appealed the verdict on the grounds that the verdict of first-degree murder was unreasonable as it was not planned and deliberate and did not involve an element of harassment, and that the jury was misdirected at trial due to a decision tree the judge created to better understand the evidence. The Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal, finding both planning and deliberation, and holding that the decision tree given to the jury was not misleading.
Criminal Offence(s): Criminal Harassment