SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2016 MBQB 171, Mr. H, a 34-year-old man, met a 20-year-old woman at the gym and invited her to his home to watch a movie on two different occasions. After the two movie dates, the woman informed Mr. H she was not interested in seeing him again. Over the next three years her persisted in communicating with her by phone, letter and email. At various times, he would phone her 10-15 times a day and leave voice messages pleading for another chance, he bought her unwanted gifts, he sent her unwanted letters professing his love and describing his sexual fantasies about her. The police warned him not to contact her and a peace bond prohibited him from contacting her. His contact continued. He sent unwanted Facebook messages, emails and gifts. In those communications he subtly threatened the woman. During the legal proceedings, he prolonged the criminal trial, commenced civil action against her and others involved in the trial, and he brought private prosecutions against the woman, with a stay of proceedings each time.
This was not the first time he had become obsessed with a woman he barely knew and was convicted of criminal harassment (see 2007 MBCA 69). The court noted that he was obsessed, unrepentant and lacked insight into his behaviour. He had originally been charged with both criminal harassment and harassing phone calls, but the court moved forward on the criminal harassment charges and quashed a committal under the harassing communication provision.
A jury found him guilty of harassment.
In an unusual decision, the judge sentenced him to two years less a day in the community and three years of probation, stating that jail time would only reinforce Mr. H’s sense of victimhood and that Mr. H had maintained his job as a firefighter for many years and may lose focus if he were to lose that job. Additional orders included a curfew, no contact with complainant or wit-nesses, keeping his distance from complainant’s home and work, and a 10-year weapons prohibition (lifetime for restricted weapons).
Also see: 2017 MBCA 1 (Appeal of dismissal of application for post-conviction disclosure), 2015 MBCA 17 (Motion to dismiss appeal from dismissal of motion for stay of charges re: abuse of process), 2014 SCCA No 224 (SCC) dismissed (Appeal of prelim), 2013 MBCA 59 (Appeal of pre-lim), 2012 MBQB 120 (Preliminary inquiry).
Criminal Offence(s): Harassing Communications