Since 2014, pranksters have yelled an obscene phrase—commonly referred to by its acronym, FHRITP—at reporters in an effort to get the phrase, "f--- her right in the p----," featured live on television. (You can view the prank's history here, but be warned that the site contains profanity.) At least one man has lost his job over uttering the phrase, and authorities have warned it could lead to criminal charges in some cases. But a case involving the phrase was dismissed Tuesday by a judge in Canada, who found it's not always illegal to shout the phrase at female reporters, the CBC reports. Justin Penton, 28, yelled 'f--- her in the p----" at reporter Heather Gillis last year as she interviewed the mayor of St. John's and he drove by them in his truck. Gillis took a picture of Penton's license plate and ultimately criminal charges were filed against him.
A provincial court judge in St. John's found that while it could be illegal to shout the phrase at someone, in this case the circumstances did not merit a charge of disturbing the peace. "Something more than emotional upset and a momentary interruption in a conversation is needed to constitute the criminal offense," he wrote in his decision. Rather, Penton would have needed to disturb the "ordinary and customary" proceedings of a public place in order for him to have committed a crime, the judge said. (On the day in question, the dump where Gillis was interviewing the mayor was closed.) Gillis could be heard calling the judge's ruling "ridiculous." The mayor she had been interviewing at the time of the incident called the judge's decision "disappointing." The judge himself noted that while not criminal, Penton's outburst was "vulgar and offensive," Metro News reports. (Read more obscenity stories.)