Crown says Boyle, accused of assault, made up self-serving nude protest story
OTTAWA — Former hostage Joshua Boyle told a self-serving lie in likening his wife’s tendency to strip off her clothes to the naked protests of Russian dissenters who settled in western Canada, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday.
Crown attorney Jason Neubauer said Boyle slipped the fabrication into a false narrative to defend himself against charges of assaulting wife Caitlan Coleman after the pair were freed from overseas captivity at the hands of Taliban-linked extremists.
Neubauer accused Boyle, 36, of making up a conversation from the night Coleman fled their Ottawa apartment and complained to police he had struck her on several occasions.
Boyle has pleaded not guilty to offences against Coleman including assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement from October to December 2017.
After being freed, the couple settled in Ottawa with the three children Coleman bore while a hostage. Boyle has testified the circumstances were temporary because he intended to divorce Coleman once the children had adjusted to life in Canada. He has described his wife as unstable, violent and prone to fits.
Boyle told the court that Coleman would often disrobe when agitated, and that he had joked with her about behaving like a Doukhobor, a sect whose members sometimes protested in the nude.
Under cross-examination this week, Coleman appeared to have no idea who the Doukhobors were and denied taking off her clothes when distressed.
Boyle’s story was “simply untrue” and just one example of his attempts to fashion his own, more favourable version of events, Neubauer said.
Boyle’s lawyers, meanwhile, have painted Coleman’s testimony as the fuzzy recollections of an unreliable woman with serious emotional problems.
Crown co-counsel Meaghan Cunningham argued that Caitlan Coleman is a credible witness whose testimony during the trial has been “confirmed and supported” by other witnesses and documentation.