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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Vancouver Island North reported just two new cases last week. (BC CDC)
North Island holding COVID-19 mostly at bay

Just two new cases were confirmed last week

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of North Island conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

Most Read