19 charges against former Afghanistan hostage Joshua Boyle dismissed

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

Gareth Manderson, general manager BC Works, and Bandstra’s Zach Runions and Steve Collins. Photo supplied
Smithers family-owned business institution sold to publicly-traded company

Bandstra Transportation and Babine Trucking acquired by Mullen Group

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

The Quesnel RCMP Detachment is one of seven northern police buildings which can now connect directly to Prince George for daily bail hearings. (Observer File Photo)
Bail hearings going virtual in B.C.’s north

A court pilot project will see virtual courtroom cameras set up in seven RCMP detatchments

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson is photographed following her budget speech in the legislative assembly at the provincial legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. budget lacks innovative drive, vision during uncertain times, say experts

Finance Minister Selina Robinson’s budget sets out to spend $8.7 billion over three years on infrastructure

Using panels kept cold by water circulating within them, B.C. researchers compared thermal comfort in 60 of the world’s most populous cities, including Toronto. (Lea Ruefenacht)
B.C. researchers use air conditioning to combat spread of COVID particles

Dr. Adam Rysanek and his team have proven a new worthwhile system – a mixture of cooling panels and natural ventilation

Police road checks are coming for people travelling between regions while COVID-19 travel restrictions are in place. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. clarifies COVID-19 travel restrictions, Lower Mainland a single zone

Vehicle checks on highways, at ferry terminals to start Friday

Most Read