Interestingly, the judge actually criticized the fact that charges were even laid, saying, “In the particular circumstances of this case, the Court is inclined to take the file and throw it out the window, which is the only way to adequately express my bewilderment that Mr. Epstein has been subject to an arrest and full criminal prosecution.”
Source: CTV News
Giving someone your middle finger is a “God-given” right that belongs to all Canadians, a Quebec judge has said as he recently acquitted a Montreal-area man of criminal harassment and uttering threats.
In his decision, Quebec court judge Dennis Galiatsatos wrote that not only was Neall Epstein not guilty, but the fact that he was arrested and prosecuted was a baffling injustice.
“To be very clear, it is not a crime to give someone the middle finger,” the judge wrote in his Feb. 24 ruling. “Returning the proverbial bird is a God-given Charter right that belongs to all red-blooded Canadians. It may not be civil, it may not be polite, it may not be courteous. However, this does not entail criminal liability. .”
And what was it?
Police arrested Epstein, a 45-year-old teacher, on May 18, 2021, as he was returning home from a walk. Earlier in the day, he had met a neighbor – Michael Naccache – who lived on the same street in Beaconsfield, Quebec, and with whom he had had previous conflicts.
Naccache, 34, insulted Epstein and threatened him as he held a power tool “in a threatening manner”, the judge found. Epstein responded with two middle fingers and kept walking.
Naccache alleged Epstein also made a throat-punching gesture and said he feared Epstein would come back and try to kill him – claims the judge did not accept.
The judge didn’t give much thought to Naccash’s case or why he was brought before his court.
“On what basis did he fear that Mr. Epstein was a potential murderer? The fact that he was walking quietly with his children? The fact that he was socializing with the other young parents on the street? If that’s the norm, we should all fear that our neighbors are killers in waiting,” Galiatsatos wrote.
“In the specific circumstances of this case, the Court is inclined to take the record and throw it out the window, which is the only way to adequately express my bewilderment that Mr. Epstein has been subjected to arrest and full criminal prosecution.”
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