21 October 2008
For immediate release
DEATH THREATS AND DEFAMATION – OTTAWA LAWYER AWARDED $50,000
For two years, Edmonton resident William Grosvenor engaged in a virtual campaign of terror against Ottawa human rights lawyer Richard Warman. Grosvenor bombarded the Internet with calls to murder Warman while providing his home address, and links to pictures of him and Google maps on how to get to his home. Combined with this were hundreds of online postings attempting to destroy Warman’s personal and professional reputation.
Now a judge of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has granted an injunction to put an end to it and has awarded Warman $50,000 in damages for defamation and assault, the latter stemming from Grosvenor’s death threats and incitement to violence. These threats of violence repeatedly called for Warman’s murder, described him as a “Dead Jew walking”, and said: “I AM GOD AND I HAVE A RUGER P-90 AND IT’S BULLETS HAVE YOUR NAME ON THEM FAGBOY WARMAN”. [sic]
In her decision issued 20 October 2008, Justice Lynn Ratushny found that despite Grosvenor having filed papers saying he intended to defend the civil suit, he never did and was thus deemed to have admitted the allegations against him. Instead of defending the action, the day after being served with the statement of claim on 15 Jan. 2008, Grosvenor began sending waves of emails to Warman’s personal email address repeating his online threats and libel.
Justice Ratushny described Grosvenor’s defamatory postings as “vicious, profane and extreme”. She found they were made dishonestly and in knowing or reckless disregard for the truth, and said it amounted to “highly reprehensible misconduct”. She went on to note the level of hatred and anger contained in Grosvenor’s threats. Justice Ratushny said Grosvenor’s efforts to target Warman for violence, including repeatedly providing his home address during a two-year period, took them beyond empty threats and meant they had to be taken seriously.
Warman is an Ottawa lawyer who has successfully filed and litigated 14 cases against members of the white supremacist and neo-Nazi movements under the Canadian Human Rights Act provisions prohibiting the spreading of hate propaganda through the Internet.
Responding to the decision, Warman said “I’m hugely relieved that the injunction has been granted and hope this will bring an end to this two-year long nightmare.” He continued, “I wish I had never heard of William Grosvenor, but if someone is going to encourage people to kill me then I’m going to see what I can do to stop them.”
The terms of the injunction granted by Justice Ratushny at paragraph 92 of her judgement reference the submissions of the plaintiff at subparas. 119(c-f). These sub-paragraphs require Grosvenor to issue a complete retraction of the defamatory comments; take all reasonable steps to remove them and his threats from the Internet; prohibit him from publishing further defamatory material or incitement to violence; and also from contacting or communicating with Warman in any way.
The specific terms are:
119(c) granting a mandatory injunction requiring the Defendant Mr. Grosvenor to make a complete public retraction of the defamatory comments;
119(d) granting a mandatory injunction requiring Mr. Grosvenor to make all reasonable efforts to remove from the internet, the entirety of any and all of the internet postings that he has published or caused to be published, and which are defamatory to the Plaintiff, and/or which invade the Plaintiff’s privacy and/or which threaten to harm or kill the Plaintiff and/or contain invitations and encouragements to harm or kill the Plaintiff, whether by using the Plaintiff’s name, nick-name, address, photograph or other means of identity;
119(e) granting a permanent injunction restraining the Defendant Mr. Grosvenor, and/or any other persons acting for the Defendant, from publishing, causing to be published, posting, or reposting on the internet or by any other method or medium, either in Mr. Grosvenor’s own name, under any nick-name, pseudonym or aliases that he now uses, has used, or may use in the future, any words which are defamatory to the Plaintiff, and/or which invade the Plaintiff’s privacy and/or which threaten to harm or kill the Plaintiff and/or contain invitations and encouragements to harm or kill the Plaintiff, whether by using the Plaintiff’s name, nick-name, address, photograph or other means of identity; and prohibiting Mr. Grosvenor from publishing or causing to be published any such words about Mr. Warman, anonymously, or in the name of another person;
199(f) restraining Mr. Grosvenor from contacting or communicating directly or indirectly with Mr. Warman, in any way or by any method;