19 charges against former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle dismissed

Ontario Court Judge Peter Doody says the Crown failed to prove charges beyond a reasonable doubt

A judge has dismissed charges against former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle, who had been accused of assaulting his wife Caitlan Coleman.

Ontario Court Judge Peter Doody says the Crown failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Boyle, 36, committed multiple offences against Coleman, including assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement.

Boyle was in the Ottawa courtroom Thursday morning with his parents as Doody delivered the lengthy verdict.

The trial dealt with the respective credibility of Boyle and Coleman, each of whom spent days testifying about their fraught relationship, their harrowing time as hostages and the events that led up to Boyle’s arrest in late 2017.

In dismissing assault and sexual assault charges against Boyle, Doody said he didn’t believe Boyle but also had concerns about Coleman’s credibility.

The incidents were alleged to have taken place in Ottawa after Boyle and Coleman returned to Canada following five years as prisoners of Taliban-linked extremists.

The couple was seized in 2012 in Afghanistan during an ill-fated backpacking trip through Asia.

In urging Doody to find Boyle guilty, prosecutor Meaghan Cunningham said Boyle used a calculated mixture of kindness and cruelty to ensnare Coleman in an emotional web.

Cunningham told Doody that Coleman’s credible evidence against Boyle was bolstered by other testimony and documentation painting him as a controlling, dominant husband who instilled fear.

Lawyer Lawrence Greenspon, who represented Boyle, said reasonable doubt about his client’s guilt amounted to a defence against all of the criminal charges.

Greenspon argued the judge should dismiss Coleman’s allegations, characterizing her testimony as the uncertain recollections of an unstable woman with serious emotional issues.

Coleman had testified Boyle created a list of demands that included an edict she make him ejaculate twice a day, seven days a week, or face “chastising,” his word for spanking.

Cunningham underscored the importance of the list as evidence of Boyle’s controlling nature. “It is akin to a smoking gun in this case,” she told the judge.

Boyle denied making such a demand, describing the list as draft suggestions for Coleman, given the couple had agreed to make New Year’s resolutions.

The prosecutor also pointed to testimony from Coleman’s older sister and mother as confirmation of Boyle’s domineering nature.

Eric Granger, Greenspon’s co-counsel, said evidence from the other witnesses was “limited in nature” and much of it amounted to “subjective impressions” of the situation.

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

Saanich Peninsula steps into post-pandemic phase

Pending partial re-opening of local schools signals new start

Craft vendors allowed to re-join Goldstream Farmers Market

Dr. Bonnie Henry lightens restrictions, approves non-food items to be sold

Three people sent to hospital following serious crash in View Royal

Incident involved a motorcycle and one vehicle on Sunday afternoon

Province recognizes three Greater Victoria residents for work to combat racism

The three residents were recognized during the Multiculturalism and Anti-Racism Awards

Saanich high school student wins free educational trip through Europe

Beaverbrook Vimy Prize centers on First, Second World War history

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Man dies in ATV accident south of Nanaimo

Incident happened on backroad Friday night in Nanaimo Lakes area

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

Most Read