Brain-injured Ontario man who offered to help ISIS gets reduced sentence
Decision offers guidelines for sentencing involving other Aboriginal offenders who issue terrorist threats
A brain-injured Ontario man who was jailed for offering to help alleged members of ISIS has won an appeal to have his sentenced reduced, after being convicted for uttering threats.
Dwayne Boissoneau was sentenced to a year in prison following an RCMP investigation into messages he sent on Twitter in 2014 .
Boissoneau's lawyer, Michael Hargadon, said his client had very little insight into the seriousness of what he had done.
"He suffered a childhood acquired brain injury at the age of three. He suffered from alcohol and other substance addiction," he said.
"He had a strained and fractured relationship with his family. He never completed high school. He was easily led by other individuals. He had no real intention of ever joining any terrorist group."
But Boissoneau, who reportedly hails from a northwestern Ontario First Nation, had already served his original year-long sentence by the time judge Helen Pierce heard his appeal.
Guidelines for future cases
The court agreed to proceed with the hearing so that its decision could provide sentencing guidelines for cases involving other Aboriginal offenders who issue terrorist-like threats.
According to the court decision, Boissoneau first tweeted at the alleged ISIS members in August of 2014, writing "Death to America" and "I kill infidels."
Later in the fall, he continued his correspondence with one of the alleged extremists by writing, "Hey brother, I'm ready to fight and support ISIS till death. I'm a Canadian and I'm sick of this face [fake] politics here."
Then, in November, a twitter user identified as Abu Dujana tweeted to Boissoneau, "Who wants to do something to some top kafirs? We get addresses for you."
Boissoneau responded, "Give me Canadian addresses. I will ensure something happens."
The exchanges were detected by the RCMP Tactical Internet Operational Support Unit.
Boissoneau told police he "wasn't really that serious about going down there," he was "going through a rough time," and he "wanted to see if CSIS and stuff was really real ... if they can actually detect stuff like that."
The case offers a valuable lessons for Canadians, Hargadon said.
"I think what we can take away is ... No.1, crime will be punished. No. 2, excessive punishments will not be tolerated," he said.