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Uttering Threats, Criminal Harassment, Possession of Weapon for Purpose Dangerous – Youth

Facts: Chris and his girlfriend Lisa, of approximately 18 months, had a difficult break up. Following their split he repeatedly tried to convince her to reconcile their differences. Following the break-up he was very aggressive and persistent in his efforts so Lisa suggested they remain friends.

However, as his efforts to re-establish the relationship were rebutted he became increasingly angry. When Lisa attempted to shut down lines of communication he continued to contact her through their mutual friends.

Chris was warned by police and guidance counsellors that such conduct could be grounds for a charge of criminal harassment.  Despite warnings he continued to go out of his way to be in her presence in school and communicate through a mutual friend named Charles.

Eventually Chris told Charles that he wanted to orchestrate a “mass shooting” and shoot Lisa as well. To demonstrate his seriousness he displayed what he claimed was a firearm to Charles, although it was later determined to be a pellet gun. He also indicated that the school shooting would occur once he was fully prepared.

Charles, believing all that Chris had said, approached Lisa and the two went to police to inform them of what Chris has said. He was then charged with two counts of uttering threats, one count of possession of an imitation firearm and a count of criminal harassment.

Results: After a lengthy trial, Chris was acquitted of criminal harassment but found guilty of uttering death threats to the people at the school and to Lisa. He was also found guilty of possessing a weapon.