The Hamilton Spectator

Sex-trade worker testifies in attempted murder trial


In court she held up a Bible on the witness stand coloured deep red, nearly maroon.

It wasn’t for taking an oath to tell the truth in her testimony. She had already done that.

It was to illustrate the colour she saw in the mirror when she stared into her severely bloodshot eyes in the days after she says she was strangled.

“The whites of my eyes were red, about as dark as this,” said the woman, who worked for nearly 20 years on and off as a sex-trade worker in Hamilton and was in her 40s at the time.

It was one of the injuries she suffered during an attack that the Crown alleges was attempted murder.

Peter Pasco, 47 when he was arrested in October 2021, is also charged with aggravated sexual assault.

The judge-alone trial began Monday at John Sopinka Courthouse.

Pasco, a man of average size with his hair and beard tightly cropped, wore a long-sleeved T-shirt. He listened with little expression to testimony from the woman, whose name cannot be published due to a court-ordered publicatio­n ban.

She testified that on Oct. 5, 2021, Pasco arranged to come to her apartment near Gage Park for a sexual transactio­n.

Nearly one hour after he arrived, she testified that Pasco had her in a “restrainin­g” hold on the bed; her back was to him, while he trapped her legs in his, and crushed her throat with his hands.

“All I wanted to do was breathe,” the woman said during questions from Crown prosecutor Heather Palin. “My last thought was I’m going to die.”

She said she managed to get one foot free, and used it as “leverage” on the corner of the bed and force them both onto the floor, causing her to smash her face on the hardwood floor, with Pasco on top.

She said she blacked out, and upon gaining consciousn­ess, called 911. When the dispatcher offered her the option of ambulance or police, she chose police.

“I didn’t know if I’d live or not, but I thought if I die, I have to tell someone who did this so they can find this person before he does it to someone else,” she said.

Police forensic identifica­tion officer Milan Pilipovic testified about photos he took of the woman that illustrate­d injuries, including bruising and scratches on her neck.

One of the dozens of photos shown on a screen in court revealed her eyes nearly entirely darkened, three days after the attack.

He said he was “taken aback” by how bloodshot they were.

“I have never seen anything like it before, or since,” he said.

The trial continues this week.

 ?? ?? Peter Pasco is charged with attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault. He was 47 at the time of his arrest in October 2021.
Peter Pasco is charged with attempted murder and aggravated sexual assault. He was 47 at the time of his arrest in October 2021.

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