Harassing behaviour puts woman in jail pending pysch exam

A woman who harassed a Kamloops ICBC lawyer, calling her continually with threats to make her life miserable, will spend the next 30 days in jail as experts look at her mental health.

Suzette Mucha pleaded guilty in provincial court Wednesday to one count of criminal harassment related to one incident, although the Crown alleged there were many, many phone calls over several months.

Judge Stella Frame granted a Crown request for a presentence report, even though Mucha has said she will not co-operate or willingly take part in interviews.

Judge Frame told the woman authorities will prepare the report anyway, even if she is not co-operative. The court ordered a psychiatric component to the report. It will be finished by Dec. 18. Mucha was arrested Oct. 29 and has been in custody since.

The chain of events started in 2003, when Mucha was the victim of a car accident. She sued ICBC. Jenifer Crawford, a Kamloops lawyer, was hired by ICBC to defend the case.

Over time, Mucha became increasingly unhappy with the civil process, although the reasons why she was unhappy were never apparent.

She called Crawford continually, the court was told. While she never overtly threatened the lawyer, she frequently used extremely foul language and told Crawford she would make her life miserable.

Mucha also called ICBC staff, other lawyers involved in the case and even the doctors who examined her and provided expert opinion about the nature of her injuries.

In February 2008, Crawford obtained a restraining order in B.C. Supreme Court prohibiting Mucha from making contact with her and others.

The order seemed to do its job, and the civil court proceeding ended when Mucha and ICBC agreed on a settlement

For unknown treasons, however, Mucha started calling Crawford and others again earlier this year, in breach of the restraining order. The calls continued from May until she was arrested.

Prosecutor Stephen Lawhead said the nature of Mucha's conduct makes a psychiatric examination worthwhile, to help decide what sentence is appropriate.

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