Crown says Boyle, ac­cused of as­sault, made up self-serv­ing nude protest story

The Peterborough Examiner - - CANADA & WORLD - JIM BRONSKILL

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.

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