Toronto

Your Ward News editor not guilty of uttering death threats

James Sears, the editor-in-chief of the controversial publication Your Ward News, was acquitted in the Ontario Court of Justice for threatening political strategists Warren and Lisa Kinsella.

James Sears was charged with threatening Warren and Lisa Kinsella

James Sears is the editor of Your Ward News, a free publication critics have called hate propaganda. Sears and the paper's publisher were found guilty Thursday of promoting hatred against women and Jews. (Submitted)

James Sears, the editor-in-chief of the controversial publication Your Ward News, was acquitted in the Ontario Court of Justice for threatening political strategists Warren and Lisa Kinsella.

The Kinsellas have been outspoken critics of Sears' newspaper which they say promotes hatred against women and Jewish people.

Last month, Canada Post banned Your Ward News from being delivered to an estimated 300,000 households.

Charges for uttering threats were laid against Sears after he penned the following paragraph in the summer 2017 online edition of Your Ward News: "...there was the chance that some hothead who cares deeply about me and my family, would lose it and do something illegal, like bludgeon the Kinsella's to death."

Justice Dan Moore said it was not "seriously contested" that Sears wrote the passage. But that the words "do not constitute a threat to kill the Kinsellas."

Moore wrote in his decision that a threat must be "forward-looking, not a comment on something that could have or even should have happened in the past if certain conditions had been met."

The judge also said Sears and the Kinsellas have an "extremely hostile" relationship. He accepted the couple's evidence that they believed the reference to them in the newspaper was "a real threat to their personal safety that they took seriously."

But Moore concluded the Kinsellas are biased in their relationship with Sears, and that "they perceive everything in the worst possible light."

Sears and Your Ward News are still facing several other legal actions.

He and LeRoy St. Germaine, the publisher of newspaper are also on trial for willfully promoting hatred.

St.Germaine was acquitted of uttering threats against the Kinsellas in October 2018.

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