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

Just Posted

Christ-King Catholic School planning special graduating events for June 10th-11th

Kindergarten and Grade nine students will be honoured in special outdoor events

40 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta

Province’s central zone still has no active cases

UPDATE: Heartland Youth Centre has named the winners in this year’s fundraising raffle

Nan Gardner has won the grand prize of the 2020 GMC Terrain

Alberta reports just seven new COVID-19 cases

‘Today’s numbers mark an occasion to be celebrated’

Town of Stettler sports fields close for improvements

The Turf Revitalization Plan has been expedited from the initial five-year strategy

PODCAST: Black Lives Matter in central Alberta

Community organizers come on the show to discuss central Albertan anti-racist movement

Red Deerians protest against racism on Saturday

This was the third protest in the city this week

‘It’s brewing’: Inmates, guards worry about violence after COVID-19 lockdown

‘Thirteen weeks in a cage the size of your (bathroom) has been pretty devastating’

Feds sign $105-million deal with Bombardier for two new Challenger jets

Department of National Defence announced the deal with Bombardier on Saturday

‘Alarmed:’ Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Public Health Agency of Canada does not collect information on long-haul truckers

Montreal man believes rough arrest caught on video was racially motivated

Montreal man believes rough arrest caught on video was racially motivated

N.B. police shooting of Indigenous woman leads to questions on ‘wellness checks’

N.B. police shooting of Indigenous woman leads to questions on ‘wellness checks’

Minister says reckoning on police violence against Indigenous people needed

Minister says reckoning on police violence against Indigenous people needed

Most Read