Irishman not guilty of sexual assault on his wife
An Irishman who was accused of threatening to make his wife disappear like an ex-girlfriend has been cleared of all charges by a Canadian court.
The man, who was involved in an unsolved missing person's case in Ireland, was found not guilty of sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon and two counts of uttering death threats by a judge in Saskatchewan.
The accused cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his wife.
The charges stemmed from allegations that the man threatened his wife during arguments that she would "disappear" just like an ex-girlfriend of his back in Ireland, who has been missing for almost 20 years.
The woman also testified that her husband would tell her he had done it before and that nobody would find her. On another occasion, the woman said her husband told her the only way she would be leaving Canada would be "in a box".
The couple emigrated from Ireland in 2012, but the woman wanted to return home, resulting in the arguments.
Chief Justice Marty Popescul said he was left with a reasonable doubt on the threat charges because the husband denied the accusations and the testimony from his wife and step-daughter was not credible.
The woman went to police in 2014 after discovering that her and her children's passports were missing and reported that her husband had threatened her. A search of the couple's home uncovered video recordings depicting the couple engaging in sex acts that the woman testified she did not consent to because she appeared intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, sometimes to the point of passing out.
The woman also said that she did not know about the recordings, even though her husband testified that the tapes were a part of the couple's sex life.
A large portion of the trial focused on the make-up his wife was wearing in the videos, including blue eye shadow, red lipstick, fake nails and fake eyelashes and the crown argued that he would put the make-up on his wife without her knowledge after she had consumed alcohol.
"Such a theory is not only improbable, it borders on the impossible," the judge wrote.
He added: "It would appear that the motivation for the complainant to concoct the story was to put the accused in a bad light so that it would pave the way for her to get back home to Ireland with her two children."
The woman was not in court as the ruling was delivered.