A Manitoba man has been sentenced to nine months in prison after uploading intimate photos of his ex-girlfriend to Twitter in an act of revenge.
In a May 16 provincial court decision posted online Monday, Judge Robert Heinrichs dismissed the man’s attempt to serve his jail term at home, saying his “evil course of action in wanting to do harm” to the woman demanded a real prison.
The offender, who is only identified in the decision by the initials SA, pleaded guilty to knowingly publishing her intimate images.
He became furious after finding out in March 2021 that his ex-girlfriend had been in a relationship with another man about a year earlier — even though they weren’t together at the time, Heinrichs said.
After an initial argument with her on the phone, the man called her and sent her hundreds of text messages, threatening to kill the other man and posting naked photos of her all over the internet.
He went on to post about 15 photos to his hundreds of Twitter followers and also directly to her.
“Always said I would expose some if I had [expletive] done,” the man wrote to him in a separate tweet.
Low risk of recurrence
The woman quickly called the police and he was arrested approximately five hours later. It was only then that he asked to delete the photos, which the police allowed him to do, Heinrichs said.
“There is no way of knowing how many people saw the photos, saved them or shared them with anyone else,” Judge said.
Although the victim did not submit an impact statement to the court, the harm caused by the crime “can be both lifelong and personal,” Heinrichs said.
The offender, in his 20s, had no criminal record, admitted what he had done and was assessed by probation officers as low risk to re-offend, the judge said.
Even so, leaving him to serve his sentence at home would not fit the crime, Heinrichs said.
“When he found out – in his way of thinking – that she had been unfaithful to him, he immediately began to inflict as much harm as possible on her,” Judge said.
“His tweet was sent to hundreds of people he knew and had easy access to through his Twitter account.”
The judge added an additional 15 days to the offender’s sentence for breaching his bail order by texting the victim and asking him to drop the charges just after the police freed him and told him said not to contact her.
He will also serve two years of probation after his release from prison and during this time he is prohibited from using social media services or contacting the victim.