Criminal Defamatory LibelR. v. Simoes, 2014 ONCA 144 (CanLII)
R. v. Simoes involved an appeal from criminal convictions for defamatory libel under Criminal Code s. 298. The accused restauranteur responded to a disgruntled customer’s complaints and negative reviews on an online restaurant review site by sending sexually explicit emails to the customer’s employer and posting a sexually explicit message and the customer’s photo on an adult cyber-dating website. The appeal court held that the trial court’s finding that the accused had sent the defamatory communications was reasonable and supported by the evidence, including a similarity in writing style and language to other emails sent by the accused. The appeal court held that the trial court erred by not allowing the accused to serve the 90-day sentence on an intermittent basis so as to minimize the impact of the sentence on the accused’s children. The appeal court dismissed the conviction appeal and varied the sentence to allow it to be served on an intermittent basis.
Excerpted from the Canadian Internet Law Update - 2014 published March 24, 2015. Copyright 2015 Bradley J. Freedman