A charge of criminal harassment was stayed in a Vancouver courtroom on Friday, in connection to the video of a strange man stalking a woman through the downtown area.
Mohammed Majidpour, 34, pleaded guilty to one count each of assault with a weapon, mischief, uttering threats, and breaking and entering for unrelated incidents in Vancouver and Richmond between January and March of this year.
He received credit for the 180 days he spent in custody prior to the sentencing hearing, which took place Friday morning in provincial court.
Conditions of his probation include attending a forensics psychiatric outpatient unit for treatment, not possessing any weapons, and no contact with four people, including Coutts.
All other charges he faced — including the criminal harassment charge related to the stalking video — were stayed.
Jamie Coutts, the Vancouver woman who filmed a masked man following her on March 17, said she feels police “dropped the ball with the investigation.”
“I’m pretty disappointed that this was the conclusion they have come to,” Coutts told Global News after the hearing.
“He’s proven himself to be a dangerous man who wasn’t even fazed when I was recording him … and now we are entering the months of the year where it’s going to start getting dark at 5 p.m.
“How am I supposed to be feel safe in my own neighbourhood?”
The stalking incident went viral after Coutts filmed the man following her for more than half an hour near Keefer and Columbia streets, as she made her way home from running some errands.
At the time, the man didn’t seem perturbed by the camera and refused to back off when Coutts told him he was too close to her.
It wasn’t until she sat down with a group of strangers, seeking safety, and someone else confronted him that he retreated.
He was also charged for several other unrelated cases, including criminal harassment, assault, and uttering threats, which allegedly took place in Metro Vancouver that same month.
Charges related to March 13 and March 19 incidents were dropped after Friday’s hearing, in which Majidpour appeared by video conference.
Global News reached out to Crown Counsel to find out why the charge related to the stalking video was stayed, but did not immediately hear back.
A spokesperson for the Vancouver Police Department declined to comment on Majidpour’s hearing, but said police conducted “a thorough investigation over many weeks.”
“We commend the victim for doing the right thing when she realized she was being followed,” said Sgt. Steve Addison in a written statement.
“She went to a place of safety, she reported the incident to police, and by speaking publicly she helped launch an important discussion about public safety.”
At the time of Coutts’ experience, Vancouver police said they had spoken to other possible victims.
Coutts said she felt unsupported after the frightening incident and struggled to find adequate counselling services in the midst of a pandemic that was tying up many licensed professionals.
Addison said the police department’s investigative team and victim services support workers did work closely with Coutts after charges were laid.
–With files from Amy Judd
Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 5:18 p.m. PST with an additional statement from Vancouver police.