Sudbury

David Popescu of Sudbury guilty of willfully promoting hatred, judge says

David Pospecu, the Sudbury man who distributed DVDs calling for then-Premier Kathleen Wynne to be put to death, was found guilty in Sudbury court of willfully promoting hatred.

In 2018, Popescu distributed DVDs calling for then-Premier Kathleen Wynne to be put to death

A Sudbury court found 72-year-old David Popescu guilty of willfully promoting hatred against the LGBTQ community. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

David Pospecu, the Sudbury man who distributed DVDs calling for then-Premier Kathleen Wynne to be put to death, was found guilty in court Wednesday of willfully promoting hatred.

During the trial, which wrapped in January, court heard how during the 2018 provincial election, Popescu distributed DVDs to households in Sudbury. He was a candidate in the election. The DVD jackets contained written messages and scriptures from the bible.

On those jackets, it was stated that former Premier Kathleen Wynne should be killed because of her sexual orientation.

In her decision, Judge Heather-Ann Mendes said that beyond a reasonable doubt "the homemade election materials compiled of DVDs and cover jackets are designed to promote hatred."

Mendes said that she found Popescu's defense – which included reciting passages from the bible – was "neither credible nor reliable."

Counsel Leonard Kim said the Crown would be considering jail time for Popescu, but their recommendation won't come until a sentencing decision later in November.

Popescu, following the guilty decision, told reporters he wasn't worried about possibly serving jail time. He was jailed earlier for two days, he said, for similar charges. 

"I had more freedom to speak to God's standards in jail than in the eyes of the court, here."

Popescu has run in almost every municipal, provincial and federal election in Sudbury in the last 20 years.

Popescu was convicted of a similar charge of hate speech in 2009, for calling for the execution of homosexuals. He was in court in 2015 on a similar charge, but it was withdrawn.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Casey Stranges is a reporter based in Sudbury. casey.stranges@cbc.ca

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