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Posted Thursday, December 18, 2008
Serial crank caller in Canada ordered to seek more
By Ian Austen
OTTAWA — Marie-Ève Dean’s harassment of the Montreal police department was, if
nothing else, labor intensive. Over 15 months she flooded the city’s 911
emergency line with more than 10,000 crank calls in a dialing marathon that
sometimes blocked legitimate callers.
On Wednesday, a judge in Montreal ordered Ms. Dean, 23, to undergo additional
anger management therapy before he imposed a sentence on her recent convictions
for mischief and conspiracy.
Ms. Dean has admitted to making the calls. But it is unclear exactly what she
hoped to achieve. Both prosecutors and defense lawyers have described her as
Judge Serge Boisvert of the Court of Quebec’s criminal and penal division said
at a hearing on Wednesday that he was not convinced that a suspended sentence of
nine months, which was recommended by the defense and the prosecution, would be
appropriate. At an earlier hearing, he questioned whether Ms. Dean would be able
to resist transforming her telephone into a weapon again.
While the crank calls between January 2006 and April 2007 all came from Ms.
Dean’s telephone line, she was not the only one making them. Her former
brother-in-law, Salim Omar Sheik Abuu, also made calls from her line. He was
given a nine-month suspended sentence for his role in the harassment.
Most of the time, neither Ms. Dean nor Mr. Abuu said anything to the emergency
operators who answered, according to evidence presented by prosecutors.
Claude Boucher, Ms. Dean’s lawyer, said that Mr. Abuu made the first call but
acknowledged that his client made the vast majority of subsequent calls. In an
interview, Mr. Boucher said that Mr. Abuu was angry about his lack of progress
in a child-custody battle and began dialing the emergency number as form of
revenge against the legal system. Ms. Dean, he added, soon joined in.
“It became a kind of game for her,” he said.
Prosecutors argued in court that Ms. Dean acted out of hatred for authority
figures, including the police.
Mr. Boucher acknowledged that his client has trouble dealing with her anger. But
he said she has been making progress through therapy.
Ms. Dean showed no emotion as she left court on Wednesday.
She is scheduled to return to court for a sentencing hearing on Feb. 27. She
also faces trial on separate charges of making death threats to police officers.
According to the police, those threats were made in person.
Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company. Reprinted from The New York Times,
International, of Thursday, December 18, 2008.
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