A Brandon judge has banned a 12-year-old girl from Facebook after she used the social networking site to threaten a pair of girls.
The ban was proposed by Crown attorney Yaso Mathu, and opposed by defence lawyer Philip Sieklicki who argued that Facebook is a "staple" in the social lives of youth.
But Judge John Combs agreed to the ban and made it part of a one-year probation order after the young offender’s own mom agreed with the Crown.
"I personally think she doesn’t need Facebook, either," the mom told Combs in Brandon court.
The girl pleaded guilty on Monday to two counts of uttering threats against two 13-year-old girls.
Court heard that the offender and the victims had all been friends before there was a falling-out over a boy.
The offender had heard that her boyfriend had been "cheating" with one of the other girls who attend the same elementary school.
She then posted on Facebook that she wanted to strangle the two girls:
"You have no idea how bad I want to strangle you two girls!!!! Omg! Yu just wait. Your time will come!"
Another girl clarified by asking the offender exactly who she wanted to strangle.
One of the girl’s mothers complained to police a couple of days after the Facebook post and the offender admitted making the threats.
One of the two girls who were the targets of the threat said she feared for her safety — she knew that the offender was on probation for a previous assault, and was worried that she’d have someone beat her up.
The girl who made the threat had, in fact, received a nine-month conditional discharge in August for an assault conviction.
Sieklicki said the victims of the threats had provoked his client by spreading lies about her.
The girl had been bullied when she was younger and has developed a tough persona due to a rough life, Sieklicki said.
The girl also pleaded guilty to assault on Monday for slapping another 13-year-old girl in the face twice while at the Shoppers Mall on Feb. 28.
Again, the girl said she was upset because the victim had spread rumours about her.
Combs sentenced the girl with one year of probation with 50 hours of community service work.
She’s to delete her Facebook account and can’t access the site while on probation.
Combs said that — provided she stays out of trouble, and her mom approves — the girl can resume her Facebook activities once probation is over.
Facebook’s policy is that users must be at least 13 years old to sign up. Youths can easily bypass that requirement by simply lying about their age when they apply online for access.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 26, 2013