What is uttering threats?
A person can be charged with uttering a threat if they utter, convey or cause any person to receive a threat:
- To cause death or bodily harm to any person;
- To burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or
- To kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.
In order to be found guilty of uttering threats, an accused need not utter the threat directly to the intended victim. It is enough if the threat was made to a third party. It is not even necessary for the subject of the threat to be aware of the threat in order to be found guilty.
In order to be convicted of uttering threats, the Crown Prosecutor must prove that the accused:
- Knowingly made the threat; and
- That he or she intended the threat to be taken seriously so as to cause a reaction of fear or alarm in the mind of the recipient.
It is irrelevant if the threat would be impossible to carry out by the accused in order to be convicted. It is also irrelevant if the accused person did not have any intention of carrying out the threat. The Crown must simply prove that the accused knowingly made the threat and that he or she intended the threat to cause alarm or fear in the mind of the recipient.