MeowMix has had an opportunity to review transcripts from the court hearings that led to Jessica Yaniv Simpson’s sentencing for possession of illegal weapons. Unfortunately, we don’t have consent to publish the transcripts due to copyright laws, but we were able to take thorough notes to relay details to you.
September 21, 2020 – Sentencing Submissions
Crown Counsel J. Lees and Yaniv’s lawyer, Andrew Coulthard, made a joint submission for Yaniv to receive a conditional discharge. This included a recommendation for Yaniv to report to a probation officer, attend counselling, and to be prohibited from possession of any firearms or prohibited weapons for two years.
Counsel presents background on the case, describing how Yaniv displayed his taser on a YouTube video under the premise that he needed it for self defense. As a result, viewers contacted the police.
The transcript states that police were familiar with Yaniv as a frequent complainant. Crown Counsel appears to believe that Yaniv was a long term victim of bullying, threats, and intimidation, and often phoned police. Because of this, police knew where to find Yaniv.
They attended Yaniv’s apartment and arrested him. It was at this time that Yaniv immediately claimed to be sick and needed hospital care. For anyone who can remember that YouTube video, it was a debate against Blaire White and Yaniv was very energetic and active. Funny how just hours later he was so sick he needed hospital care. RCMP took Yaniv to the hospital as a precaution.
Later that evening, police obtained a search warrant and entered Yaniv’s residence. Yaniv had told police he had a couple tasers and other things, like pepper spray and bear spray.
Yaniv stated that he had these items because it wasn’t safe to walk the streets as a transgendered woman without them.
Crown stated that Yaniv had no criminal record and entered an early guilty plea. Crown even stated that Yaniv showed remorse, which MeowMix can only speculate was remorse for showing the taser, not for owning it.
Because too light of a sentence would give the community the message that arming themselves and engaging in vigilantism is wrong, Crown and the defense lawyer agreed some punishment was needed.
When Yaniv’s lawyer took his turn, he stated that Yaniv had disclosed possession of these weapons to police before an they told Yaniv it was ok. For this reason, they knew it was in Yaniv’s residence.
Coulthard also stated that Yaniv was already engaged in counseling and hoped Yaniv’s probation officer would enable Yaniv to continue seeing the same ones.
While Yaniv’s lawyer was speaking, Yaniv, in true Yaniv fashion, kept interrupting. He said “What about the exception because I showed it to police? They wouldn’t take it from me.”
Coulthard summarized that Yaniv was bringing this up because Yaniv didn’t think it was an illegal possession because of guidance received from a police officer.
The Judge asked if Yaniv wanted to speak. Yaniv responded that he did, and stated that “sorry, I got into a motor vehicle accident so my hips are really sore.” The Judge offered to let Yaniv stay sitting.
Yaniv went on, and I wrote this down because it’s important: “Like, I acquired this back in January of 2019 and from that date I acquired it from my friend, the two, I immediately phoned it in. I knew it was an illegal weapon so I looked under the Criminal Code and I said, ok. I can’t exactly throw this thing in the garbage cause then a kid could pick it up and then use it and harm themselves, so I made a phone call to the police, and Constable Wilson is the person that attended. I said ‘I don’t want this. Take it from me’. You know, I had the officers come and they just said ‘No, I can’t take it from you, just don’t do anything stupid with it.” I had the officers that attended and they say ‘oh this thing is so cool’. You know I’m not going to do anything, just you know, we know why you have it, we now all of these issues, but that’s when I showed it off over livestream.
That’s when they said ‘oh well someone complained so we have to take action. But under the Criminal Code there’s an exception and that’s when you can lawfully dispose of it. However the police would not let me lawfully dispose of it. Like, I’ll give you an example. One of my clients that I have, like I do marketing, have break and enter tools inside my place. I’ve had for the last two years. I’d told the police take it. I have like six of them. Take it. I don’t need them. I can’t have them.“
Right here Yaniv’s lawyer is noted as trying to stop Yaniv from talking but he keeps going.
“But the police would not take it from out of my hands, that’s the thing.”
The Court moved along with the sentencing, ignoring Yaniv’s statement entirely. The Court confirmed that Coulthard and Lees agreed about the sentencing and proceedings concluded.
Reasons for Judgement
The reasons for judgement document includes the Judge’s notes about the case. I summarized each section.
Section 1 – summary of charges – Yaniv possessing a taser that Yaniv was not allowed to be in possession of.
Section 2 – Yaniv displayed the taser on a livestream video.
Section 3 – People saw this and called police. Police searched Yaniv’s home.
Section 4 – Yaniv has no previous criminal record.
Section 5 – The Judge read the presentence report and a psych eval. It states that Yaniv went through a number of difficulties in his youth. Yaniv as targeted, victimized, traumatized, and bullied. Yaniv also has developmental issues and a neurological condition. Yaniv was diagnosed with some behavioral and neuropsychological issues at the BC Children’s Hospital. Yaniv has a learning disability, but was able to graduate from school and get a diploma. It states Yaniv owns a digital marketing company.
Section 6 – There are mental health concerns. Yaniv claims to have engaged in self-harm and has physical ailments. Yaniv often attends the hospital. Since filing HRT complaints, Yaniv fears for their safety.
Section 7 – This part is confusing but every word matters. Yaniv meets the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder – but has not been diagnosed. Likewise for gender dysphoria and “post-transition”. It is unclear what that term means as Yaniv has not fully transitioned.
Section 8 – Judge sees that this is a joint Crown/Defense submission.
Section 9 – No weapons possession, must attend counseling.
Section 10 – Yaniv has no criminal record.
Section 11 – Judge has to consider deterrence, denunciation, and rehabilitation.
Section 12 – Judge does not find it contrary to the public interest to grant a conditional discharge.
Section 13 – Not in the public interest or contrary to the administration of justice to proceed with this sentence.
Section 14 – Stand up Yaniv.
Section 15 – Conditional discharge granted, probation for 12 months.
Section 16 – There are conditions.
Section 17 – Keep the peace and good behaviour.
Section 18 – Appear before the court when we require you to.
Section 19 – Notify probation officer of any change in name, address, or employment.
Section 20 – Coulthard interjects.
Section 21 – Court agrees that Yaniv doesn’t have to do it in advance but must do so promptly.
Section 22-27 – Report to a probation officer at 502-5330 by 3:00 pm, Sept 22.
Section 28 – Attend any intake or assessment directed by probation officer.
Section 29 – may not possess weapon or licenses.
Section 30 – for two years…
Section 31 – 32 – Victim surcharge is waived. Judge sees that Yaniv is struggling due to COVID-19 and is on CERB.
What do you think? Did the Judge nail it? Miss it? Was Crown too soft? Speak your mind in the comments below.