British Columbia

B.C. man loses appeal of convictions related to website he designed to intimidate ex-wife

A B.C. man who created a website designed to ruin the life of his former spouse has lost his appeals of convictions for repeatedly violating probation orders to stop harassing his ex-wife.

Appeal court's unanimous decision says Patrick Fox's stated goal was to cause former spouse to commit suicide

Patrick Fox has lost his appeals of two provincial court convictions for breaching probation orders to take down a website harassing his ex-wife. (CBC)

A B.C. man who created a website designed to ruin the life of his former spouse has lost his appeals of convictions for repeatedly violating probation orders to take the content down.

According to a B.C. Court of Appeal decision, Patrick Fox has been convicted twice of ignoring release orders arising from his original 2017 sentence for criminally harassing his ex-spouse through a website intended to "denigrate, humiliate and intimidate her."

The unanimous decision says Fox's stated goal in creating the website — then replicating its content on a second website within months of his release from prison, and then failing to remove that website as ordered by another judge —was to cause his ex-wife to commit suicide.

'I will never take down the website'

According to the ruling, Fox wrote police himself to ask "to be charged with breach of probation and criminal harassment."

He also posted a letter to B.C.'s then attorney general David Eby — now premier — emphasizing "how ineffectual and impotent the Canadian justice system is."

In this screen grab from the internet, Patrick Fox vows he will never remove his revenge website. (CBC)

"They can't even make a little pissant nobody like myself take down a website," the letter read. "They can lock me up for [the] rest of my life, but I will never take down the website."

The appeal court judges considered arguments Fox made in a bid to overturn two separate provincial court convictions.

The first judge sentenced him to six months in prison and six months of probation for breaching the order that came out of the original criminal harassment charge.

The second judge then sentenced Fox to one year of incarceration and one year of probation for ignoring the first judge's orders.

'Die a slow, miserable death'

On the first file, Fox argued that the judge had erred in his interpretation of the probation order and had misapprehended evidence.

The appeal court judges found there was "no merit to any of those grounds of appeal."

A statue of the blind goddess of Justice holding the scales of conviction.
The B.C. Court of Appeal has rejected a bid to overturn Patrick Fox's convictions for breaching probation related to criminal harassment of his ex-wife. (David Horemans/CBC)

On the second file, Fox argued that the Crown had failed to provide a witness list and that the Crown, police and the judge had also committed misconduct. 

He also suggested that various incriminating statements made to a Vancouver police officer about the website were "said in a sarcastic and joking manner."

"He said he had been ordered to take down the website but he believed it was not illegal and it exposes misconduct and corruption in the criminal justice system," the appeal court judgment says.

The ruling says the police officer also asked Fox what it would take for him to take the website down.

"Mr. Fox said he wanted the government to admit that everything on his website is true, for the government to admit he did not commit criminal harassment and overturn all his convictions, and for his ex‑wife to get throat cancer and to die a slow, miserable death," the decision says.

"He said that never in his life would he take down the website, and locking him up in jail was not going to stop or change anything."

'Absurd' interpretation of order

The provincial court judge who sentenced Fox for the second probation breach said that Fox "from his own mouth himself, essentially convicted himself."

Fox attempted to argue that his probation order was only meant for him to take down the website for 48 hours after his release from prison — after which he would be free to put up the website again.

"This interpretation would lead to an absurd result," the appeal court judges wrote.

"It would defeat the very purpose of the probation order in protecting Mr. Fox's ex‑wife from continued harm."

The appeal court judge found that Fox's grounds for appealing the second provincial court judge's probation order lacked merit.

now