Man’s alleged e-mail threats against Redford ‘did not cross the line,’ says judge by Daryl Slade, November 5, 2012, Calgary Herald
A 57-year-old Calgary man who sent alleged threatening emails to several media outlets last year did not cross the line when he wrote in one of them, ‘would (Premier) Alison Redford still be smiling smugly with a hole in her head?” Provincial court Judge Gord Wong, in acquitting Stan Leonard on Monday of uttering threats, said the words, in effect, did not have a threat context to them.
“Judge Wong, in a careful decision, took into consideration the context of which all of these emails were given, plus the evidence Mr. Leonard gave, explaining what he meant . . . ” said defence lawyer Patrick Flynn. “Mr. Leonard was hoping the media would take a more positive spin to Ms. Redford. At times he felt they were showing her in a very negative light. In effect, it did draw the attention to the issue of Ms. (Arizona Congresswoman Gabby) Giffords a year previously having been shot (in the head). Also, an MLA just weeks earlier had an individual charged with uttering threats. All this came together for Mr. Leonard.” Flynn said Leonard, who has done these types of things for a long time, felt he was doing this as a public service and took it upon himself to deal with the issue on his own.
“The email that caused most people concern was ‘would Alison Redford still be smiling smugly with a hole in her head. That is the actual phrase that caught everyone’s attention,” said Flynn. “But when you look at it largely, Mr. Leonard has not crossed the line. “He thought the media were treating (Redford) as obnoxious, saying Redford was awful. He said he was going to have to deal with it himself.” Flynn said it was unfortunate that his client spent 60 days in custody, mostly undergoing risk assessments, before his trial last month.
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