2017 BCSC 2361

In 2017 BCSC 2361, Mr. F had been found guilty by a jury of criminal harassment and being in possession of firearms at a place other than where he was authorized to possess them. During an acrimonious custody battle, Mr. F began a harassing his wife, Ms. C. Mr. F lived in Canada and Ms. C lived in the United States. In emails, public statements, and comments to the RCMP he stated that he wanted to devote his life to a campaign to make her life a miserable as possible, ideally harming her reputation and driving her to financial ruin or suicide. His intention was to do whatever he could within the confines of the law to undermine her relationships, employment, and general well-being. This campaign included created a website using his ex-wife’s first and last name that published private photos of her, her friends, and family members, including her child from another partnership; her full name, address, and contact information; allegations that she was a white supremacist, a sociopath, and an unfit mother, among other things; disparaging comments about her and people she associated with; private email communications between the two; and a blog purportedly written in the perspective of Ms. C describing her as a terrible person. He sent the website link to her colleagues at work. He threatened to hire someone to get “intimate photos” that he could post on the site. When Ms. C made an effort to get the website taken down, he moved the website to an overseas server to make it more difficult.

Mr. F also sent her hundreds, if not thousands, of emails to her and people she knew with the intention of degrading, humiliating and tormenting her. The emails included comment such as “”I will destroy you — slowly and incrementally … [e]very moment of my life is focused on the single goal”.[1] He copied their son on many of the emails he sent to Ms. C and actively sought to poison his son’s relationship with Ms. C.

Over the year and a half the harassment continued, Ms. C tried many tactics to get Mr. F to stop including ignoring his emails and responding aggressively to him, but she was never successful. The court noted that: “The harassment was particularly insidious because [Mr. F] kept [Ms. C] in perpetual fear of new ways he would devise to torment her. Mr. Fox’s professional expertise is in information technology, and he appeared to [Ms. C] to have an alarming ability to gain access to confidential information about her and the people in her life.”[2] His harassment had impacts on her personal and professional life and Mr. F publicly delighted in the misery he caused her.

Despite the fact that Ms. C lived in the United States and Mr. F was not allowed to enter the country, the court held that Ms. C had a reasonable fear. The court stated: “As I have explained, [Mr. F] did everything he could to humiliate and torment [Ms. C] to the point that she feared reasonably for her own and her family members’ safety. Her and their psychological or emotional well-being was under serious threat, and, because of [Mr. F’s] comments about firearms and about shooting her, [Ms. C] also feared reasonably for her physical safety.”[3]

Mr. F was sentenced to three years and ten months of imprisonment and three years of probation, additional orders including no contact order with Ms. C, her partner and their son, lifetime firearms prohibition, and to provide a DNA sample. While on probation, Mr. F was prohibited from disseminating information about Ms. C, her partner, their child or any friends, relatives, employers or coworkers, upon release he had to ensure any website or social media posts re-lated to these people are no longer accessible by any means, and internet prohibitions ordered including a requirement to provide any email address he uses or corresponds with to his parole officer.

Also see: 2017 BCSC 1369 (Motion to joint or sever counts); 2017 BCSC 854 (Evidence)

[1] 2017 BCSC 2361 at 21.
[2] 2017 BCSC 2361 at 29.
[3] 2017 BCSC 2361 at 40.


Criminal Offence(s): Criminal Harassment