VANCOUVER — A British Columbia man convicted of criminally harassing his ex-wife says she and her fiance insulted and taunted him in emails for years before he created a revenge website targeting her.
Patrick Fox presented 700 pages of emails, dating back to 2011, during his sentencing hearing on Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court. Crown counsel Mark Myhre objected to allowing many of the emails on the record, saying they were irrelevant to the case.
Fox alleged the emails contained threats to deport him from the U.S., where he lived at the time, and to revoke access to his son. His ex-wife Desiree Capuano provoked him into creating the website, he argued.
“Ms. Capuano was subjecting me to her misconduct for years before finally the tables started to turn in 2013 or 2014 when I came to Canada, at which point she began to lose this fight and then she started asking people or the police for help,” he said.
“Prior to that, she had no issues at all doing whatever she wanted to me or causing me whatever harm she felt was appropriate.”
Fox was found guilty by a jury in June of criminally harassing Capuano through threatening emails and the website, which maligned her as a white supremacist, drug addict and child abuser. He also posted private photos and her phone number and address.
He has been in custody since his arrest last year and is representing himself in court. Justice Heather Holmes allowed him to go through the emails as she decided which would be admitted and which would not.
Fox argued that emails sent before 2014 were relevant because they shed light on his mental state when he created the website.
“I think that’s something that was grossly overlooked throughout the trial process in this matter, by presenting only emails that began in 2014, it completely ignored the two years of Ms. Capuano doing the exact same thing to me.”
At one point, Fox alleged Capuano had “victimized” him, but he quickly retracted the comment.
Myhre told the judge that many of the emails don’t apply to the case, including those that pre-date the website and those sent by Capuano’s fiance. They don’t cast Fox in a particularly good light, he added.
“They amount to nothing more than petty squabbling … and just don’t possibly amount to the kind of thing that might be considered provocation into a kind of campaign of criminal harassment,” Myhre said.
The emails were entered as exhibits but were not read aloud or provided immediately to reporters.
Fox has also submitted a cached copy of Capuano’s Facebook page to the court and audio recordings of radio and television interviews she conducted. He said a CBC story in February 2016, which prompted widespread media coverage in Canada and the U.S., made him look like a “monster.”
He said Capuano’s “false claims” and negative media attention cost him his job, friends and business associates.
Capuano has also filed a lawsuit against Fox alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intimidation and interference in business relationships. She is seeking damages and an order requiring Fox to take down the website.
None of the allegations contained in the notice of civil claim has been proven and Fox has not yet had an opportunity to respond. A court order directed the BC Sheriff Service to serve Fox with the lawsuit on Tuesday.
The sentencing hearing is expected to continue through Wednesday.
— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.
Laura Kane, The Canadian Press
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