2015 ABPC 234

In 2015 ABPC 234, a recently-divorced man, Mr. E, was charged with two counts of criminal harassment after repeatedly communicating with his ex-wife, Ms. E, and asking about their relationship, children, and separation. He sent her 20-30 text messages a day, called her 5-10 times per day, and sent her daily emails. In one instance, he also followed her to an ice hockey arena.

In relation to the first count of harassment — for following his wife to the arena — the court held that Mr. E did not follow her “from place to place” or cause her to reasonably fear for her safety as required under s 264 of the Criminal Code. In relation to the second count of harassment, for repeated communications, the Court cited 2015 ONSC 1630, and affirmed that “the Court must not too hastily characterize the stress and anxiety arising from a marriage break-up and stressful negotiations as harassment, even if one or both parties feel harassed….”[1] The Court concluded that, at most, Ms. E was disquieted or annoyed by her ex-husband’s repeated communication. The Court also determined that E did not know his ex-wife felt harassed, and stated that Ms. E would not have reasonably had to fear for her physical safety. As a result, E was acquitted of all charges.

[1] 2015 ABPC 234 at para 67.


Criminal Offence(s): Criminal Harassment