Saturday 25 November 2017

Sexual assault trial in Canada is linked to 1996 Irish missing person case, court hears

Sexual assault trial in Canada is linked to 1996 Irish missing person case, court hears
Sexual assault trial in Canada is linked to 1996 Irish missing person case, court hears Newsdesk Newsdesk

A woman who has accused her Irish husband of sexually assaulting her has suggested he is involved in an unsolved missing persons case in Ireland.

The woman, who is the complainant in a trial currently underway in Saskatoon Court of Queen's Bench in Canada, made the claim while giving testimony on Monday, it has emerged.

The accused, who cannot be named by order of the court and is in his early 40s, faces two counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual assault with a weapon and two counts of making death threats against his wife.

He is before a judge with no jury and his trial is expected to last three days.

In her evidence, the woman told the court her husband convinced her to move their family to a rural area in Saskatchewan in Canada from Ireland in 2012. For the next two years, their relationship deteriorated into one of alleged sexual assaults and threats.

In August 2014, the Canadian Police (RCMP) searched the couple's home on the basis of a complaint made at the time, the court was told.

Officers seized several laptops, videotapes and other electronic equipment. A bag of make-up and approximately $2,000 in silver coins was also seized from the couple's property, an investigator testified. The search resulted from a probe which got underway after the complainant contacted the police.

On several occasions, she told the court, she woke up with no memory of what occurred when going to bed the night before and found traces of makeup on her face.

Crown Prosecutor Buffy Rogers showed the woman an image and a series of video clips. The public in the court did not see this - it was played before the judge, the lawyers, the complainant and the accused.

The woman identified herself in a photo shown to the court.

She described how she appeared to be asleep in the image and wore make-up she did not believe she owned.

When the videos were played to the court, she identified herself in them. She told the court she appeared to be unconscious and was wearing blue eyeshadow, pink lipstick and fake nails.

In the video, the court was told , the accused was seen performing a sex acts on her.

The woman said she did not know she had been recorded and only saw the videos for the first time when she was interviewed by police officers in October 2014.

The complainant said she felt the videos were "degrading and humiliating" and a "violation of me".

The woman told the court she found a similar recording with similar activities while the couple were in Ireland six years ago. She confronted the accused and, she told the court, he got upset and subsequently apologised.

The couple are both from Ireland and met in 2002 before marrying three years later.

The woman told the court her husband wanted to get Canadian citizenship as he told her they had no extradition agreement with Ireland.

The wife said her husband had told her gardai in Ireland were "out to set him up" in a missing persons case dating from 1996 in Ireland. His then partner went missing and has never been found, the court heard. Nobody has ever been charged.

The woman said her spouse had told her gardai were "pinning" the woman's disappearance on him. He told her he felt it would be safer for him in Canada with citizenship.

Since their move to Canada, her husband had developed a number schemes in a bid to become a "survivalist" and life "off the grid".

This contributed to the deterioration of their relationship as she wanted to build a house. The court heard that the woman told her husband on a number of occasions that she wanted to return to Ireland.

The woman told the court her husband had threatened her several times - and had mentioned the name of his missing ex-girlfirend.

The woman said he told her if she wasn't with him, then she was against him "just like [the missing woman]" and that "this is just like [missing woman's name] all over again".

"He said: 'You know I've done it before. They'll never find you.... You'll end up like her," the complainant testified.

The trial continues.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News