SELECTED CASE LAW
In 2018 ABQB 178, Mr. L was charged with harassment, breaking and entering, and mischief. Mr. L began having an affair with the complainant shortly after her husband’s suicide. Mr. L moved into the complainant’s home with her and her four children and began helping at the store the complainant owned, including assisting with IT issues. Eventually the relationship broke down and the complainant asked Mr. L to move out. She asked him to stay away from her home and business, but Mr. L would regularly arrive at the properties uninvited. He would park outside of her store and home and occasionally write messages on the dirt on her car. There was occasional contact during that time, including visits with the children and sexual relations with the complainant, but the complainant would reiterate that she did not want him to continue contacting her. He also withheld passwords he changed while working at the store and a computer that the complainant needed to operate her business for a period of time. During one of his visits to the complaint’s home an argument broke out where Mr. L grabbed her arm pushed her into a chair, after which, the complainant hid in the bathroom and Mr. L proceeded to break the door of the washroom down. Following the breakdown of the relationship, he would send relentless amounts of email, text messages and telephone calls, some of which he expressed suicidal ideation to keep the complainant in contact with him. After the complainant terminated the relationship Mr. L sent 31 emails in one day and sent 519 texts over 106 days in an effort to re-engage the complainant, most of which the complainant did not re-ply to. He also sent unwanted gifts on a near daily basis and regularly called her at her place of work. He once followed her and her children to a place they were on vacation uninvited. The complainant contacted the police who warned Mr. L to stop communicating with her, but Mr. L would not stop communicating with and visiting the complainant. His actions made the complainant feel trapped, followed and threatened and he had no legitimate reason for the ongoing communication.
Mr. L was found guilty of harassment for the relentless unwanted communication, visits and gifts, as well as following her and threatening suicide. His threats of suicides were found to coerce her and caused psychological harm to the complainant. He was found guilty of mischief by willful damage of property for damaging the bathroom door. He was acquitted of the break and enter because it was not clear how he gained entrance into the home. He was sentenced to six months of imprisonment and three years of probation. Mr. L is currently appealing this decision.
In 2016 ABPC 197, Mr. L was also found guilty for a breach of recognizance when he attended a church where the complainant and her children were known to go and did not leave when they did in fact attend the church. Mr. L had a no contact order that prohibited him from being near the complainant and her children.
Also see: ABCA 209 (Application for bail pending appeal);  SCCA No. 79 (Leave to appeal); 2018 ABCA 5 (Leave to appeal); 2016 ABPC 197 (Trial, breach of recognizance).
Criminal Offence(s): Criminal Harassment