Judge delays sentencing of David Popescu on wilfully promoting hatred in Sudbury
Crown lawyer to provide letter in eight weeks about conditions at Sudbury jail before sentencing
The Crown is calling for five months in jail for a Sudbury man convicted of wilfully promoting hatred.
73 year-old David Popescu distributed DVD's in 2018 calling for the death of then-Premier Kathleen Wynne because she is a lesbian.
Police recovered fourteen of the D-V-D's but during the trial Popescu says he intended to distribute eight hundred of them.
Crown lawyer Leonard Kim says the messages caused psychological damage to the LGBTQ2S community and could be interpreted by Popescu's sympathizers as a call to incite violence.
Popescu was convicted of two similar charges of hate speech in 2009 but was given a suspended sentence and probation rather than a jail term.
Kim says the repeat offence calls for jail as a deterrent and denunciation.
He also asked the judge to consider taking the unusual step of imposing a condition prohibiting Popescu from distributing or publishing material referring to anyone's sexual orientation.
Kim says that wouldn't preclude Popescu from holding his own views but it would prevent harm to others.
As for his part in sentencing submissions, Popescu, who represented himself, says he shouldn't be sentenced at all.
He says his case should not be considered criminal because he answers to God's law.
After a short prayer, he launched into a rambling defence that referred to COVID and the California wildfires and cited a long list of Biblical references in his defence.
He says the whole prosecution is an attempt to muzzle God's word.
Popescu chided Justice Heather-Ann Mendes for not doing her homework in reading the Bible passages he had provided to her.
Upon the conclusion of the sentencing hearing, Justice Mendes told Popescu that there is a real chance that she will sentence him to jail but she was reluctant to give her decision to the 73 year-old man during a pandemic.
While Kim reassured her that there are no cases of COVID-19 currently at the Sudbury jail, Justice Mendes asked him to provide a letter in about eight weeks to testify to the conditions at that time.
She set April 7 as the date to deliver her sentence.