Heather Gillis: Twitter

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

A judge has ruled a notorious sexist slur aimed at a reporter in St. John’s, N.L., was vulgar and offensive but wasn’t a crime under the circumstances.

Provincial court Judge Colin Flynn dismissed the single charge against 28-year-old Justin Penton of causing a public disturbance.

Penton acknowledged he yelled a phrase commonly abbreviated to FHITP at NTV reporter Heather Gillis last April as she taped an interview outside the St. John’s dump.

But Flynn ruled the incident — part of a phenomenon that has plagued journalists in the United States and Canada since 2015 — did not meet legal precedents for interfering with the public peace.

He says something more than emotional upset and a briefly interrupted conversation would be required to constitute a criminal offence.

Gillis says she understands the judge has to work within the law but is disappointed in the ruling.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Housing crisis amplified on Denman Island

High home and rental prices and a shortage of housing stock have led to island-wide struggles

Folk legend Arlo Guthrie returns to Vancouver Island MusicFest

Island MusicFest executive producer Doug Cox went to the well one more… Continue reading

Changes coming to CVRD watering restrictions

The changes will come into effect in May

Comox marijuana bylaw vote set for today

A decision on a contentious Comox bylaw surrounding the plan to temporarily… Continue reading

VIDEO: Work is play for this B.C. avalanche rescue dog

CARDA certified Joss’s Job is to save lives — but to her, it’s all a game

CONTEST: Win a whale-watching tour for four

Where in the world are the Snowbirds?

UPDATE: Jordan funeral procession moves along Quadra Street

Late Victoria cop mourned by officers from numerous local, out-of-town jurisdictions

Government has no solution for dangerous stretch of Highway 1

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok met with the Ministry to talk about the dangers around Highway 1

B.C. couple caught in Kootenay Pass avalanche

Just after the ministry carried out avalanche control and opened the highway a Rossland couple was almost swept away by snow

Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Disgraced cyclist reached $5-million settlement with sponsor U.S. Postal Service

2 B.C. men deemed heroes for saving man from fire

Fire on Coronation Avenue in Duncan sends one man to hospital

B.C. has highest C-section rate in Canada: report

Researcher says it’s not necessarily a bad thing

Courtenay council approves five-year financial plan

Larry Jangula, Manno Theos oppose plan

Most Read