Joshua Boyle leaves court with his mother Linda Boyle in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Ex-hostage Boyle’s testimony at assault trial was evasive, self-serving: Crown

Boyle has pleaded not guilty to several offences including assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement

Former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle has woven a fictional, self-serving narrative to disguise the fact he demeaned, subjugated and assaulted his wife Caitlan Coleman, a Crown attorney charged Tuesday at Boyle’s criminal trial.

“He effectively coercively controlled her, and this developed over a number of years,” prosecutor Jason Neubauer said as he began the Crown’s concluding arguments.

Boyle, 36, has pleaded not guilty to several offences against Coleman including assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement in the period of October to December 2017.

The incidents are alleged to have taken place after he and Coleman returned to Canada following five years as hostages in the hands of Taliban-linked extremists. The couple settled into an Ottawa apartment in late 2017 with the three children Coleman had in captivity.

Boyle has disputed allegations he mistreated Coleman verbally or physically, portraying her as unstable and prone to fits that made family life extremely difficult.

During the trial, Boyle has described himself as a masochist who sleeps on the floor, partakes in bondage-style sex and has little regard for his personal safety.

Boyle’s lawyers have acknowledged he is unorthodox, unconventional and even unlikable, but stress that he scrupulously adheres to the truth.

ALSO READ: Wife of former hostage Joshua Boyle testifies to abuse

Neubauer assailed the reasoning as “a straw man,” saying the Crown is not arguing that someone who deviates from social norms is less credible than the next person.

Rather, Boyle’s testimony is generally unbelievable and incapable of raising reasonable doubt about the criminal charges he faces, Neubauer said. “Aspects of it are incompatible with common sense.”

The prosecutor variously described Boyle’s statements in the witness box as illogical, evasive, fabricated, argumentative and “outright lies.”

Neubauer cited a complimentary, loving text message Boyle apparently sent Coleman, one quickly followed by a second message saying: Oops, wrong address — April Fool’s, expect painful biting tonight.

He accused Boyle of contradicting himself by first acknowledging he sent the text, then saying he didn’t know if it was his message.

“It matters because it affects Mr. Boyle’s overall credibility,” Neubauer said. “And that of course reflects poorly on his honesty as a witness.”

Boyle’s lawyers have urged Judge Peter Doody to reject Coleman’s claims of abuse, characterizing her testimony as the fuzzy recollections of an unreliable woman with serious anger-management issues.

Lawyer Lawrence Greenspon asserted Tuesday that Coleman fled the apartment she shared with Boyle and accused him of assault as part of a long-desired plan to win sole custody of their children and make a new life in the United States.

Greenspon said Coleman saw the night of Dec. 30, 2017, as her best chance to put the plan into effect.

Coleman grabbed money and family passports before heading to a downtown hotel to see her visiting mother, who was about to head back to the U.S.

Boyle, meanwhile, called police to say his wife was missing and expressed concern for her safety.

An officer turned up at the hotel and listened to Coleman’s claims her husband had assaulted her several times, leading to Boyle’s arrest a short time later.

Neubauer is slated to continue with the Crown’s closing submissions Wednesday.

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Council approves reduction to leisure services monthly pass rates during COVID-19

Passes will be discounted while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, and will return to normal after.

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Northwest Indigenous governments form new alliance

Alliance intended as way to share resources, maximize opportunities

Authorities urge residents to manage garbage after having to dispatch another bear

RCMP and Conservation officers had to deal with another bear after it got into a residence’s garbage.

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

Most Read