Meaning of a Uttering a Threat or Death Threat:
A conditional threat, that if the police officer did not leave he would be shot, comes within the ordinary meaning of “threat” and can constitute an offence in Canada.
The issue to be determined is whether looked at objectively in the context of all the words having regard to the person to whom they were directed would the words themselves convey a threat to a reasonable person?
An innocent meaning to the alleged threat as between the parties is immaterial whether the complainant appreciated s/he was being threatened.
The actus reus is met if a reasonable person aware of the circumstances in which the words were uttered would have perceived them to be a threat of death or bodily harm. The Crown does not have to prove the recipient of the threat knew about about it or was intimidated by it.
The mens rea is met where the Accused intended the words uttered or conveyed to intimidate or be taken seriously. It is not necessary to prove an intent that the words were to be carried out by the Accused.
To determine whether the words of the Accused where a threat, the words are to be viewed objectively in the context of circumstances in which they were made.
Pre-charge conduct of the Accused is relevant to whether the complainant’s fear was reasonable, as well as to the intent of the Accused in knowing or being reckless as to his/her conduct towards the complainant.
Uttering threats in the Criminal Code of Canada
264.1 (1) Every one commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat
(2) Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(a) is guilty of
(3) Every one who commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) or (c)