A Regina man who stalked a woman for more than 30 years should not have been banished from the city and can come back, a judge has ruled.
It is the latest twist in the case of convicted criminal harasser Gerald Klein, who is now allowed to return to Regina as long as he stays out of a large part of it.
"The banishment from the whole of Regina was excessive and unduly harsh," Queen's Bench Justice Frank Gerein said in a 21-page written decision this week.
"Accordingly, the appeal as to the condition of banishment is allowed and an alternative is allowed."
Last August, Klein, 63, was ordered to leave town for 12 months after a hearing before provincial court Judge Dennis Fenwick. At issue was Klein's decades-long pattern of initiating unwanted contacts with Regina resident Cathy Kaip.
After meeting Kaip at a wedding in 1974, Klein began calling her and sending her cards and letters. He sent flowers and watched her outside her home. Klein also launched several lawsuits against Kaip, all which were summarily dismissed.
A restraining order didn't work, and in 2003 he was sentenced to three years in prison for criminal harassment.
After getting out of prison, Klein landed in trouble again when police investigated complaints from Kaip's relatives and others connected to her.
Victim lived with 'constant fear'
At the hearing last Aug. 9, Fenwick said Kaip had suffered greatly, both physically due to health issues and emotionally. He concluded an overwhelming case had been made for a new order against Klein.
"Her life has been shattered," Fenwick said. "She has been left with a feeling of helplessness … a feeling of constant fear and endless worrying of what next, and when."
Klein was ordered to sign an agreement to leave Regina and to follow other conditions.
He moved to Saskatoon but appealed Fenwick's ruling.
In his decision Monday, Gerein said Fenwick was justified in making an order against Klein but went too far banishing him from the entire city.
Gerein also said Klein should have been permitted to address the court about the order.
Instead of an outright ban, Gerein ordered Klein to stay out of a section of south Regina equivalent to about a third of the city. The ban covers the area south of Dewdney Avenue, east of Lewvan Drive and north and west of the Ring Road.
Gerein said the new ban is reasonable in that it gives Kaip "significant security of movement" while accommodating the basic needs of Klein.
On Tuesday, Klein's lawyer, Brian Pfefferle, said his client is relieved and plans to return to Regina.
"He is certainly a lot happier to be heading home than to be in a strange city like Saskatoon where he knows no one and has no support and no financial ability to really do anything," Pfefferle said.
A member of Kaip's family told CBC that she's upset about the latest court ruling.
The restriction against Klein comes to an end in the summer. Then Kaip will have to go back to court to get it renewed.
She and her family are lobbying politicians to change the law so she won't have to go through the process every year.