Mentioning his past as a gun smuggler was part of a series of threatening and harassing actions a Lower Mainland man took against a woman who refused to date him, a recent B.C. Supreme Court appeal ruling revealed.
Octavian Emilian Olaru was convicted in 2021 of criminal harassment. The Langley Advance Times is not naming the victim in the case.
Olaru appealed his convicted from Provincial Court to B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. On Feb. 16, Justice Terence Shultes dismissed the appeal, and the conviction remains in place.
The criminal harassment took place in the fall of 2018 in Langley, but Shultes’s ruling described a series of incidents that went back as far as 2012.
That was when Olaru and the victim first met when they were attending the same church.
Olaru, who acted as his own lawyer in his first trial, would linger around the victim, and attempt to inject himself into conversation she was having with other people.
In 2013, she told him in no uncertain terms that they “were not going to become friends in that way” and she had no interest in seeing him socially.
She switched churches and he also appeared at her new church, and persisted despite her telling him to stay away 10 to 15 times, as well as her parents and her brother giving him the same message.
In 2018, he began showing up at her gym and while she was out with her child in Fort Langley.
“She had not previously seen him around these areas, which caused her concern,” Shultes wrote in his ruling.
When she confronted him at the gym after several incidents, Olaru said “I’m willing to go to prison for you if it means we could be together.”
He also told her he had a criminal record for importing machine guns, and asked her to “Google it.”
In 2008, Olaru pleaded guilty to importing a prohibited weapon from the United States.
He was arrested in a sting operation by RCMP after they were given info from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. Previous media reports indicated he had been trying to buy two machine guns with silencers, a Glock 18C with a 33-round magazine, and a Beretta 93R machine pistol and magazine.
He was arrested by RCMP and an Emergency Response Team when he turned up to receive what he thought were the shipped guns.
After pleading guilty to the gun charge, Oloru, who was 19 at the time, received a one-year conditional sentence and three years of probation.
After she learned about the previous conviction, the victim became “scared and anxious,” her sleep was affected, and she was worried for both her safety and that of her child.
Olaru’s lawyer, B.R. Anderson, argued to overturn the original conviction of harassment on several grounds, including that the first judge was wrong to find that Olaru had engaged in threatening conduct with the comments about guns and his willingness to go to jail.
Anderson noted that the victim testified that Olaru didn’t raise his voice and was smiling in these interactions.
But Justice Schultes found that the original ruling was correct on all counts, agreeing with the Crown. He noted that the prison comment “smacked of a potentially dangerous obsession” and the mention of guns associated Olaru with criminal activity.
“It was certainly not a stretch on the trial judge’s part to find that they were tools of intimidation designed to instill fear in her,” Schultes wrote.
The first trial judge had handed down a suspended sentence with three years of probation and a lifetime gun ownership ban.
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