Criminal Harassment by watching or besetting: Ontario

To prove the offence of Criminal Harassment by watching or besetting, the Crown must establish the following factors:

1. That the defendant engaged in the prohibited conduct without any lawful authority to do so;

2. That the complainant was harassed;

3. That the conduct caused the complainant to fear for his or her safety;

4. That the complainant’s fear was reasonable , in all of the circumstances; and

5. That the defendant knew that the complainant was harassed or was reckless or willfully blind
as to whether he or she was harassed.

Under this offence, “Watching” is passive in nature whereas “besetting” is active. Watching is continually observing for a purpose and besetting has a physical element of approaching , importuning or seeking to argue with another person. *

William Poulos, Barrister

* This blog is not a substitute for legal advice. Should you require legal advice, a lawyer should be consulted to advise on the specific circumstances of your case.

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