Mountie not guilty
Woman didn't fear for her safety, Judge rules
SELKIRK — A judge has acquitted an RCMP corporal of criminally harassing his ex-girlfriend, a Winnipeg Crown attorney, saying she was not satisfied the woman feared for her safety.
But Judge Christine Harapiak had some critical words for both Jeff Moyse and Debbie Buors and how they handled their bitter breakup.
“It is not unusual ... to date someone you meet at work,” Harapiak said. “Any breakdown in the relationship must be managed with a high degree of personal discretion and care; even more so when the parties are primary actors in the criminal justice system. That care does not seem to have been taken here.”
Moyse, 40, smiled and hugged his lawyer following Harapiak’s ruling.
Harapiak said Moyse’s actions were at times mean and childish — including a vitriolic, curse-filled voicemail delivered days after the death of Buors’ father — but not criminal.
“People occasionally behave badly when relationships break down,” Harapiak said. “I am of the view that Mr. Moyse behaved very badly and created unnecessary stress for Ms. Buors at a very difficult point in her life. I am not convinced a criminal offence has occurred, however.”
Court heard Buors lost both of her parents within a year of each other and was having serious family problems during her relationship with Moyse.
Earlier this month, Buors testified she tried several times to break off her nine-month romance with Moyse, only to have him bombard her with unwanted — and often angry — phone calls, e-mails and text messages. During one 24-hour period, Moyse called or texted Buors 70 times.
Harapiak said Buors showed no signs of fearing Moyse, a key component for criminal harassment.
In March 2009, Buors threatened Moyse with a restraining order and then visited his workplace the next day to interview trial witnesses. Moyse tried to bar Buors from entering the Powerview detachment office in March 2009, resulting in an angry confrontation.
Harapiak said she was satisfied, on this occasion, it was Moyse who feared Buors, not the other way around.
“He appears to have been overwhelmed, unsure what next steps to take,” she said. “I find it was Buors who was angry on this occasion and Moyse who was fearful.”