VANCOUVER -- A British Columbia man's online communications show he criminally harassed his ex-wife and his hatred of her was so intense that he used their teenage son as a pawn, a Crown attorney argued Monday.
Mark Myhre told a B.C. Supreme Court jury that Patrick Fox's tactics included threatening emails, blog postings and a website aimed at emotionally ruining the life of Desiree Capuano, who lives in Arizona.
Fox is charged with one count each of criminal harassment and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Myhre outlined 10 ways in which Fox's actions constituted criminal harassment of Capuano, saying Fox falsely maligned his former wife as a white supremacist, a child abuser and a drug user.
The trial heard Fox allegedly damaged Capuano's ability to get a job by posting a blog, purportedly written by Capuano, falsely saying she used drugs daily before work.
Myhre said a job offer Capuano received from a community college was rescinded.
He read several emails from between 2014 and 2016, saying some of them were copied to the couple's son.
In one email to Capuano, Fox said he told their son during a summer visit about his plans for his mother.
"He is fully aware of my plan to use him as a pawn to ruin your life and he seems to be OK with it," Fox said.
In a January 2015 email to Capuano, Fox wrote: "The singular goal of my life is to destroy your life. I don't care if I die penniless."
Jurors heard the pair was embroiled in a custody battle and that the boy's demeanour changed after returning to Arizona from a visit with his father. The court heard the boy spent much of his time in his bedroom and disengaged from his family.
In December 2015, Fox was ordered by an Arizona judge to stop emailing Capuano, but a website the man created that taunted her, her family and friends was not ordered shut down.
Myhre said Fox was pleased with the publicity that drew more people to the site, all the while maintaining that he would do whatever he could to legally pursue his goal of humiliating Capuano.
The seven men and five women on the jury have heard four handguns were found inside a computer in a box that Fox shipped to a California address from Burnaby, B.C.
Fox has represented himself at the trial, but court-appointed defence lawyer Tony Lagemaat cross-examined Capuano.
Lagemaat told jurors Monday that both Capuano and Fox were engaged in a nasty game in which they taunted each other by email and that Capuano provoked the man by calling him names and saying he had a "sick fixation" on her.
"She's throwing out the insults as well as she's taking," Lagemaat said, adding Capuano seemed not to fear Fox because she began an email chain even after telling him to stop emailing her.
"You might not like the words Mr. Fox uses or that he's posted them to a website. That alone is not an offence."
He suggested Capuano's tears in court were not real as opposed to her laughter during a police statement, though she said in court the latter reaction was out of nervousness.
Fox told the jury in his closing statement that the firearms seized at his friend's house in Los Angeles may have merely been placed in an empty box that was put in a closet.
He would not have intentionally caused any problems for his friend, who is an immigrant in the United States, Fox said.
The jury is expected to hear the judge's instructions on Tuesday before starting deliberations.