Vancouver broadcaster Jody Vance’s harasser sentenced

Vancouver broadcaster Jody Vance is telling her story, after the man who harassed her for seven years was sentenced at Vancouver Provincial Court on Friday.

Richard Oliver, who agreed to a guilty plea of criminal harassment, has been sentenced to 12 months probation.

Some of the terms of his probation include staying away from Vance and a handful of other local broadcasters, as well as attending and participating in counselling as directed by his probation officer. He also cannot possess a weapon as defined by the Criminal Code.

Although Vance is relieved about the guilty plea, she feels the sentencing is little more than a slap on the wrist.

“His sentence was one appropriate for perhaps a first time shoplifter, certainly not something that this individual did with pre-meditation and malice,” she said. “At one point he copied me in on a death threat sent to provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry back in 2020.”

Vance called the harassment “astounding,” noting “just the sheer volume of it.”

“He would take photos of me from social media and elsewhere and photoshop a communist flag on the mask I wore for the ‘Health not Hate’ initiative, he would use photographs of concentration camp prisoners from Auschwitz and tell me my day of reckoning was coming.”

Vance hopes by speaking out she can encourage other victims of harassment to come forward.

“There is power in numbers,” she said. “If I had stopped on this journey at any point where somebody said ‘good luck with that’ I never would have got to today. I want to make this easier for the next person who is fearing for their personal safety or worse.”

She’s calling this a small victory on the path to a greater victory, and now plans to try to protect others from going through what she went through for several years.

“I’m no longer a victim, I’m a champion of wanting to help others navigate this system.”

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