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Anti-hate crusader wins fight against online foe
Ontario judge rules that death threats and vile accusations amount to assault;
Edmonton man ordered to pay $50,000 in damages
October 22, 2008
An Edmonton man has been ordered to pay $50,000 in damages to anti-hate
crusader Richard Warman, who was targeted for death in a series of vile
The threats posted by William Grosvenor, a middle-aged stamp dealer, were
“vicious, profane and extreme,” Ontario Superior Court Judge Lynn Ratushny
concluded in a ruling released this week.
She said they portrayed Mr. Warman as a pedophile, a participant in organized
crime and an all-around disgusting human being, and that they were sufficiently
menacing and calculated to terrify to qualify as an assault in law.
“They are threatening and intimidating and, by virtue of their repetitiveness,
their detail regarding the plaintiff’s whereabouts and their level of
malevolence, they are more than empty threats and insults,” she said. “They are
vicious and serious and are to be taken seriously.”
Judge Ratushny issued an injunction ordering the defendant to issue a
retraction of his defamatory comments, remove them from the Internet, and
publish nothing further that is defamatory or incites violence.
As part of his postings, Mr. Grosvenor had provided photographs and Mr.
Warman’s address, as well as Google maps showing how to get to his home. He
openly incited readers to take violent action against Mr. Warman.
In an interview yesterday, Mr. Warman said that Mr. Grosvenor was evidently
waiting for an unbalanced individual to do the dirty work for him.
“I compare it to him knowing that there is a large pool of gasoline … and
just throwing lit matches at it one after the other; hoping that he would set
off someone else to commit that act of violence he was inciting people to
commit,” Mr. Warman said.
A lawyer for the federal government, Mr. Warman has mounted a one-man campaign
to eradicate Internet hatred through the human-rights complaint process. He has
pursued almost 20 complaints, and has yet to lose one. As a result, he is
widely disliked among the ultra right.
“I’m hugely relieved about the fact the injunction has been issued,” he said
yesterday. “It’s my sincere hope that this brings an end to this two-year
nightmare, because it has been horrific in terms of seeing incitement to murder
you attached to your home address over and over again.
“I wish I had never heard of William Grosvenor, but if someone is going to
encourage people to kill me, then I’m going to see what I can do to stop them,”
Mr. Warman said.
Some of Mr. Grosvenor’s postings described Mr. Warman as a “Dead Jew walking.”
One of them said: “I AM GOD AND I HAVE A RUGER P-90 AND IT’S BULLETS HAVE YOUR
NAME ON THEM FAGBOY WARMAN.”
Others made false claims that he had had sex with a 13-year-old girl and that
he was mixed up in criminal activity.
“They refer to the plaintiff as a dishonest man, liar, scumbag, pimp and
disgusting maggot, to name a few,” Judge Ratushny said.
“They heap hatred, contempt and ridicule on the plaintiff and, by their volume
and wide dissemination, they seriously expose the plaintiff to hatred, contempt
and ridicule from others.”
Although Mr. Grosvenor originally filed papers signifying his intent to defend
the civil suit, he never did so.
Mr. Warman said that Mr. Grosvenor has at least one tangible asset that he
knows of – a home.
“I never count chickens before they’re hatched, but in this case, it is my full
intent to enforce the judgment,” Mr. Warman said.
“I think it sends a very strong message that there are legal consequences in
any civilized society for stalking another human being and encouraging people
to murder him over an extended period.”