ACCIDENTAL PEEP SHOWS OKAY
Last week the Supreme Court of Canada sided with wankers across the country, ruling that masturbating in your own home is fine, even if the neighbours can see you.
Back in 2000, Daryl Milland Clark of Nanaimo “was observed masturbating near the uncovered window of his illuminated living room by neighbours from the privacy of their darkened bedroom, across contiguous backyards, from a distance of 90 to 150 feet,” the Jan 27 ruling states.
Though the neighbour, referred to as Mrs S, claimed she “didn’t really see anything untoward other than some movement,” she ran to her darkened bedroom to get a better look and then summoned her husband.
After watching Clark for 10 to 15 minutes, part of the time with binoculars and a telescope, Mr and Mrs S finally concluded Clark was masturbating and expressed concern to one another that Clark was “masturbating to our children.” The offended parties tried unsuccessfully to videotape Clark and then called the police.
Clark was charged and convicted on two counts of willfully committing an indecent act (a) in a public place in the presence of one or more persons and (b) in any place, with “intent thereby to insult or offend any person.”
Though there was no evidence that Clark was intending to insult or offend—or that he even knew he was being observed—he was convicted on the first count because the trial judge found that he had, by keeping his light on, converted his home into a public place.
The conviction was upheld by the BC Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court of Canada found that both the lower courts erred. Writing for the unanimous majority, Justice Morris Fish wrote that “public place” means a place where the public has actual physical access, not just visual access.
“The living room of his private home was not a place ‘to which the public [had] access as of right or by invitation, express or implied,’” wrote Fish. “From both the text and the context, it seems obvious to me that ‘access,’ as used here, means ‘the right or opportunity to reach or use or visit.’”
By Paul Gallant
DURANGO, Colo. (Reuters) - A Colorado judge ordered two teen-age girls to pay about $900 for the distress a neighbor said they caused by giving her home-made cookies adorned with paper hearts.
The pair were ordered to pay $871.70 plus $39 in court costs after neighbor Wanita Renea Young, 49, filed a lawsuit complaining that the unsolicited cookies, left at her house after the girls knocked on her door, had triggered an anxiety attack that sent her to the hospital the next day.
Taylor Ostergaard, then 17, and Lindsey Jo Zellitte, 18, paid the judgment on Thursday after a small claims court ruling by La Plata County Court Judge Doug Walker, a court clerk said on Friday.
The girls baked cookies as a surprise for several of their rural Colorado neighbors on July 31 and dropped off small batches on their porches, accompanied by red or pink paper hearts and the message: "Have a great night."
The Denver Post newspaper reported on Friday that the girls had decided to stay home and bake the cookies rather than go to a dance where there might be cursing and drinking.
It reported that six neighbors wrote letters entered as evidence in the case thanking the girls for the cookies.
But Young said she was frightened because the two had knocked on her door at about 10:30 p.m. and run off after leaving the cookies.
She went to a hospital emergency room the next day, fearing that she had suffered a heart attack, court records said.
The judge awarded Young her medical costs, but did not award punitive damages. He said he did not think the girls had acted maliciously but that 10:30 was fairly late at night for them to be out.