VANCOUVER – A man who launched a revenge website to humiliate and emotionally ruin his ex-wife shows no insight into his crime and must be sentenced to four years in prison, a Crown prosecutor has argued.
Patrick Fox, 43, was found guilty by a jury in June of criminally harassing his former spouse Desiree Capuano through threatening emails and a website that maligns her as a white supremacist, drug addict and child abuser.
Crown counsel Mark Myhre told Fox’s sentencing hearing in B.C. Supreme Court on Wednesday that the man is intelligent, calculated and devoted to making Capuano’s life miserable.
“Just imagine that every day of your life you go about knowing that there’s a person out there with that dedication,” he said.
“They’ve done things to humiliate you, to affect your job prospects. They’ve told you they have plans for you that you haven’t even thought about. … This person has also said they would kill you if they could get away with it.”
Fox, who is representing himself in court, denied saying he would kill Capuano. He told the judge that his exact words to their teenage son were that he would shoot her if he could get away with it.
Capuano, who lives near Tucson, Ariz., was laid off from her job and struggled to find new work due to the website, Myhre said. Despite her pleas to the police, the internet hosting company and to Fox himself, the site remains online to this day, he said.
The harassment has left her feeling “isolated, beat up, powerless, frustrated,” Myhre said.
“She knew in the back of her head that this man wanted her dead and insinuated to her he could do it at any time. There seemed to be nothing she could do to make it stop,” he said.
“When you consider the weight of what Ms. Capuano has had to carry around every day during the period of Mr. Fox’s campaign of criminal harassment, it’s really quite overwhelming.”
The jury also found Fox guilty of possessing firearms in a place where he was not authorized to do so, after he shipped four restricted handguns to California.
Myhre said Fox should be sentenced to two to three years for criminal harassment, plus six to 12 months for the firearms offence. After accounting for time served, Fox would be incarcerated for two years less a day. The Crown is also asking that Fox serve three years probation.
Myhre also asked the judge to make a determination that the website itself constitutes criminal harassment. The finding would send a message to Fox to remove the site and deter others from making similar publications, he said.
The prosecutor said he is troubled by Fox’s lack of insight into how his own actions have led to his circumstances.
Fox blames Capuano for having him deported from the U.S. without their teenage son, but refuses to acknowledge he was staying in the country illegally and had previously told his ex-wife he planned to move to Canada, Myhre said.
She allowed the boy to visit his father in B.C., even though he would return home from the trips with less respect for his mother, the Crown added.
He also said Fox appears to truly believe the allegations he makes against Capuano on the website, despite a lack of any real evidence. For example, the claim that she is a drug addict is based on the fact that she has a medical marijuana card, Myhre said.
“He has a narrative … ‘She’s an evil person,'” he said.
Fox requested a copy of Capuano’s victim impact statement, telling Justice Heather Holmes that he hoped to publish it on a different website he plans to create. That site would be devoted to the Crown and RCMP’s handling of his case, he said.
Holmes refused to allow him to keep a copy over concerns that he would use it to further his criminal harassment of Capuano. He was allowed to review and take notes from her eight-page statement, which was not read aloud in court.
Fox has indicated several times during the sentencing hearing that he plans to appeal the verdict. The hearing continues Thursday.
— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.