Sask. man arrested for allegedly making online threats of Vegas-style attack

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A 30-year-old man was arrested for allegedly making threats on a Saskatchewan country music festival[1]. The threats were made via Facebook and allegedly made references to the Las Vegas shooting which took place on October 1st. The Las Vegas shooting left 58 dead and over 500 injured when a gunman opened fire on a crowd with automatic weapons. The man has since turned himself into the RCMP and has been charged with one count of uttering threat, and one count of breach of probation[2].

A similar case, R v Hayes[3], appeared in the Provincial court of Saskatchewan in 2017. Christopher Hayes made online threats on the life of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau through Facebook. Hayes was charged for uttering threats under s. 264.1 of the criminal code. The judge established in paragraph 11 of the judgement that the main issues at hand were:

“(1) Whether the words Mr. Hayes used in his posts on Facebook constituted a threat to cause      the death of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, given the meaning that a reasonable person would attach to these words viewed in the circumstances in which they were uttered or conveyed; and

(2) Whether Mr. Hayes intended his posts to be a threat, by either intending these words to intimidate or to be taken seriously.”[4]

The judge ultimately found Hayes to be guilty under s. 264.1. The threats on the Saskatchewan country music festival will likely face a similar trial should the case be taken to court.

 

This blog post was written by a CCLA-PBSC RightsWatch student. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCLA or PBSC.

 

 

[1] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/saskatchewan-rcmp-1.4387025?cmp=rss

[2] Ibid

[3]  2017 SKPC 8 (CanLII), <http://canlii.ca/t/gxgm5>, retrieved on 2017-11-04

[4] Ibid