01/26/2016 14:17 EST | Updated 01/26/2017 00:12 EST

Judge finds firearms investigator defamed N.S. woman, awards her $50,000 damages

HALIFAX — A woman who became the target of defamatory statements after she applied for a firearms licence has been awarded $50,000 in damages by a Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge.

Court documents show that when Laura Doucette applied for a firearms licence in 2011 as part of a course, firearms investigator David Grimes warned her instructors she may have been involved in an armed robbery.

Judge Denise Boudreau, in a ruling released Monday, said Grimes' false statements were clearly defamatory and his actions were inexplicable, given that he never checked to see if the allegations were true.

Boudreau said Grimes' ill-founded allegations of criminal activity were made in a cavalier fashion with callous disregard for the impact they would have on Doucette's life.

The judge said the statements harmed Doucette's mental health, but the judge said she wasn't persuaded that this case represented a permanent setback for the woman, who is in her 30s.

In an amended defence filed last October, Grimes and the provincial government admitted liability for defamation and breach of privacy.

The Canadian Press