Uttering death threats by BBM in Ottawa – Charges dropped
After a year and a quarter of restrictive bail conditions, just 30 minutes before the trial was due to begin the charges against my son were dropped in exchange for a peace bond without admission of inappropriate behaviour – which our lawyer advised us to accept, just in case we got a quirky judge.
It seems that a Crown finally got around to looking at the details. One charge did not even meet the criteria for the offence. As for the other - gold copy? There wasn’t even a bronze copy – only a piece of paper purporting to be a record of the conversation, certainly not a RIM email of a BBM chat log. The BB that supposedly received these threats was never thumbed by the police, let alone forensically examined, apparently because the owner said she had erased the offending messages the day before! Can you believe that? On arrest, my son was asked if he would volunteer to have his BB examined. He declined based on his well-based mistrust of the Ottawa police. I had voluntarily cooperated with the police by allowing them to search our home for the gun AND machete mentioned in the alleged threat. Their search, which I videoed for fear of evidence planting, was extremely perfunctory. We could have had an entire arsenal and they would not have found it. I realized afterwards that this was just a case of CYA because the complaint was received from the offices of a prominent local employer.
Nonetheless my son had to endure a night in Ottawa’s notorious Elgin Street jail and got bail conditions of a curfew and a Facebook ban, based entirely on the malicious gossip of a couple of drama queens. No one involved with the case, police, Crown or lawyers, seemed to understand the difference between SMS texting and instant messenger chat, which cost me a lot of wasted money getting phone records from the provider to proactively prove my son’s innocence, before the police disclosure finally arrived 3 months later and mentioned BBM for the first time. In his supplementary disclosure, the detective involved even had the gall to say that the high tech squad had told him that a forensic examination of the phone would not reveal any more information!!!
I tell you this because, apart from personal closure, if you are involved with a mobile phone case in Canada you should not assume that anyone has any idea what they are talking about. Ottawa is not in the mobile forensics Bronze Age – it is in the Stone Age!
With grateful thanks to Greg Smith for his input early on in the saga.