A disabled senior convicted of coughing on a grocery store clerk and complaining about the store’s COVID protocols has been acquitted after an appeal. and “complaining with considerable persistence and vigour” about the store’s COVID protocols in 2020, has been acquitted of all criminal charges.

The British Columbia Supreme Court has overturned a judge’s 2022 ruling that Kimberly Woolman, 60, “assaulted one employee by intentionally coughing in their direction and assaulted another by intentionally pushing her shopping cart into him.”

She was initially charged with causing a disturbance in a public place by shouting and two counts of assault.

Woolman was shopping at Save-on-Foods in Campbell River, B.C., for her mother, who lived in a nursing home, one month after B.C. declared a state of emergency.

She had finished shopping and was at the cashier, ready to pay. She questioned why a barrier was blocking some of the aisles, and the clerk explained it was for social distancing to “keep down congestion.”

“I said, ‘You got to be freaking kidding me,’ and I walked away. She followed me, stopped me halfway down the aisle and demanded that I answer her question of whether I would keep social distancing, as she was in my face, two feet away, and I was telling her to back off,” Woolman said in an interview on Rumble.

According to Woolman, the clerk persisted in following her, saying that she would not be able to get groceries if she didn’t commit to following the public health guidelines.

Eventually, three other clerks were involved. She was accused of intentionally coughing at the first clerk, Jacqueline Poulton, and another clerk accused her of ramming a cart into him.

Woolman’s case was granted an appeal after Justice Douglas Thompson ruled the trial judge was incorrect for refusing to allow Woolman to call on a character witness.

Thompson did not order a new trial, opting instead to overturn the conviction and enter an acquittal.

According to Thompson’s decision, Woolman asserted a myriad of grounds for appeal, but many of these were “manifestly without merit.” He concluded, however, that the character evidence matter provided enough grounds for an appeal.

Woolman also claimed that her lawyer sought a deal with the Crown rather than defending her innocence using available video evidence.

Woolman fired her lawyer and began representing herself.

“The lawyer had not looked at the video evidence that had been submitted. There was a problem with the video reader. You needed to have a specific reader,” said Rebecca Sheppard of Stand4Thee, a group that assisted Woolman with her defence.

There were four different videos in total, according to Sheppard.

Woolman said her lawyer showed the video but “didn’t point out anything on it.”

“I trusted her because she was a lawyer,” she said.

Sheppard also said the witnesses’ statements to the police did not match their testimonies in court.

“Nowhere in the videos do you see any reaction to being coughed on and supposedly horked on from two feet away,” she said.

After the first trial, Woolman lacked the funds to appeal the court decision, but Stand4Thee provided assistance.

“From my heart. I am so thankful to everyone for all the love and support and for helping me do this appeal,” Woolman said. “It wasn’t just about me. It was the fact that so many people were (harassed) in grocery stores.”