R. v. Masters
Her Majesty the Queen, and
Ken M. Masters
 O.J. No. XXXX
Information No. 4813-05
Ontario Court of Justice
K.L. McDonald J.
Oral judgment: November XX, XXXX.
Charges: Impersonate peace officer False Defamatory, libel Convey False Message
R. Rotter Counsel for the Provincial Crown
T. Pain Counsel for Ken Masters
K.L. McDonald J. (orally):
¶ 1 MS. ROTTER: The next matter, lines 80 to 82, Ken Masters.
¶ 2 MR. PAIN: Good morning, Your Honour. My name is Pain, P-A-I-N, initial T. This is Mr. Masters before the Court. This matter is up for a plea this morning, if the Court is prepared to deal with that.
¶ 3 THE COURT: And you’re counsel for this gentleman, sir?
¶ 4 MR. PAIN: Yes, I am, Your Honour.
¶ 5 THE COURT: On what count or counts does the Crown seek an arraignment?
¶ 6 MR. PAIN: The first one, impersonating a police officer. It’s going to be a joint submission for Your Honour’s consideration as well …
¶ 7 THE COURT: Now, are you satisfied — is it Mr. Pain, Pine?
¶ 8 MR. PAIN: It’s pronounced “pine”, but it’s spelled “pain”.
¶ 9 THE COURT: Okay. Mr. Pain, are you satisfied that your client understands the details and that he doesn’t have to plead guilty, that he has the right to a trial in this matter?
¶ 10 MR. PAIN: He understands that, Your Honour.
¶ 11 THE COURT: And he understands you’re satisfied that he’s giving up his right to a trial by pleading guilty.
¶ 12 MR. PAIN: He understands that as well.
¶ 13 THE COURT: And you’re satisfied that he’s doing that voluntarily.
¶ 14 MR. PAIN: Yes, I am.
¶ 15 THE COURT: And you’re also satisfied that he understands this joint submission, while carrying very significant weight, is not binding on me?
¶ 16 MR. PAIN: Yes, I have reviewed that with him.
¶ 17 THE COURT: All right, thank you. Let’s have an arraignment.
¶ 18 COURT CLERK: Ken Masters, on or about the 17th day of November, the year 2005, in the City of Mississauga in the said Region, and on the 6th day of December 2005, and on the 7th day of January 2006 in the City of Mississauga in the Province of Ontario, did falsely represent himself to be a peace officer to wit sending an electronic internet mail (e-mails) in which he represented himself as Inspector Mark Korman, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, contrary to Section 138 of the Criminal Code of Canada. How does the Crown elect to proceed?
¶ 19 MS. ROTTER: Summarily.
¶ 20 COURT CLERK: How do you plead to this charge, guilty or not guilty?
¶ 21 THE ACCUSED: Guilty, Your Honour.
¶ 22 THE COURT: I’m sorry?
¶ 23 THE ACCUSED: Guilty, Your Honour.
¶ 24 THE COURT: Okay.
¶ 25 COURT CLERK: Thank you, sir, you can have a seat.
¶ 26 MS. ROTTER: Your Honour, on January 7th, 2006, Tim Gibbons, the crime reporter from The Toronto Times newspaper called the Toronto West Detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to report that he received an e-mail ostensibly from Inspector Mark Korman, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This e-mail warned that Mary Tar was a swindler and warned the public that doing business with her in any manner whatsoever is high risk.
¶ 27 It further said that she had a reputation of dishonourably backing down from promises and contracts and may be involved in another scam. It provided an accurate description of her along with two photographs and listed her workplace, city of residence, and country of origin. Gibbons advised that the message appeared to be from the RCMP as it bore a name and rank of an RCMP officer and a complete and accurate address, phone number, and web site of the RCMP divisional headquarters in London. Gibbons reported that he had called the number listed on the e-mail and had been advised by the person at the front desk that no such officer existed.
¶ 28 A search of the RCMP database and the CPIC database, showed that Tar had no previous convictions and had never had any previous involvement with the RCMP. The investigator, Corporal Hendricks of the Federal Enforcement Section confirmed that no such officer existed within the RCMP and went to speak to Mary Tar, the person identified in the e-mail. Tar stated that she and a number of her friends and relatives had received the e-mail on January 7, 2006. She said that the e-mail was spreading rapidly via the Internet grapevine, and her relatives and friends were constantly being contacted by police asking whether they had heard that Mary was a criminal. She was extremely distraught and stated that the e-mail had caused her and her family great emotional harm, and was horrified when told that the message had been sent to the media.
¶ 29 Tar and several other witnesses testified that they had received other e-mails from the RCMP inspector starting in mid-November 2005, which were beyond the lookout type messages and which contained information copied directly from the official wanted by the RCMP web site. Tar could think of no reason why anybody would send such an e-mail and could identify no enemies. She could only identify one person, Ken Masters, as good with computers, but hastened to add she was sure that he would not have done this. Masters was briefly interviewed in his workplace during which he made several odd statements highly similar to those spelled out in a suspect e-mail, but denied any knowledge or involvement. He subsequently called the primary investigator several times, stated that he knew more about the e-mails, but then called back to cancel each time.
¶ 30 On February 28th, 2005, Mary Tar called Corporal Hendricks to advise that on January 2nd, 2006, Masters had attended her workplace, asked to speak with her and then gave her a detailed confession that he had sent the e-mails, gave her an apology, and an offer of money. On February 4th, 2006, he was arrested for impersonating a police officer. Those are the facts.
¶ 31 MR. PAIN: I reviewed those facts with Mr. Masters and they’re admitted as substantially correct, Your Honour.
¶ 32 THE COURT: Please stand, sir. On your plea and the admission of those facts, I find you guilty of the impersonation charge.
REASONS FOR SENTENCING
¶ 33 Well, I think the facts speak for themselves. I’m hopeful that you, hearing these allegations read out in a packed courtroom, really brings home to you quite the effect that you had on Ms. Tar all for a cellular phone.
¶ 34 THE ACCUSED: Yes, ma’am.
¶ 35 THE COURT: What has come out of this is actually important, and that is that you’ve identified you have some issues you’ve got to deal with and you’re dealing with them through counselling. It’s a joint submission by both counsel and one that’s obviously come through some careful consideration, and given the consultation report I have from Dr. Long, L-O-N-G, I don’t think it to be an inappropriate submission. The offence to which you’ve pleaded guilty appears to be a straight summary conviction offence, one of the very few left in the Criminal Code. Given all of those considerations, I am prepared to impose a conditional discharge with a period of probation for twelve months, with conditions that you keep the peace and be of good behaviour, come back to the courthouse when directed to do so, report to a probation officer immediately and thereafter as directed. You will continue your course of counselling with Dr. Long and not discontinue that counselling until he discharges you. There was fifty hours of community service. Was that …
¶ 36 MR. PAIN: Yes, Your Honour.
¶ 37 THE COURT: You will perform fifty hours of community service, and that community service should start as soon as possible and be completed by the term of your probation. And there was some exact wording, there was no contact with the complainant in this matter or any member of her immediate family; is that right?
¶ 38 MS. ROTTER: As well as friends.
¶ 39 THE COURT: Any member of her immediate family or anybody you know to be a friend of hers. Do you understand?
¶ 40 THE ACCUSED: Yeah.
¶ 41 THE COURT: I think it also appropriate that you do not send to any person any e-mails in which you speak of this episode of the breaching of the cell phone contract by Ms. Tar to anybody. Do you understand?
¶ 42 THE ACCUSED: Yes, Your Honour.
¶ 43 THE COURT: Any breach will bring you back before the court facing additional charges. In lieu of the community service, the victim fine surcharge will be waived. Thank you.
¶ 44 MR. PAIN: Your Honour, a point of clarification, please, I didn’t quite catch that last condition.
¶ 45 THE COURT: He’s not to send any e-mails in which this – the episode with Ms. Tar and the breach of the cell phone contract is mentioned. All right?
¶ 46 MR. PAIN: Fair enough. Thank you.
¶ 47 THE COURT: Thank you.
¶ 48 COURT CLERK: And the remaining charges?
¶ 49 MS. ROTTER: Withdrawn, please.