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

Alberta premier Jason Kenney declared a public health state of emergency Tuesday and sweeping new measures as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise. (photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Kenney declares state of public health emergency as COVID-19 cases rise

High schools shift to online learning, businesses face new restrictions

Pipestone Community committee members and core rink volunteers each put in 600 hours of volunteer work to renovate the Pipestone Community Rink this year. From left to right: Andy Dansereau, Colton Huber, James Huber, and Dave Pockrant. Shaela Dansereau/Pipestone Flyer.
New renovations complete on Pipestone Community Outdoor Skating Rink

New boards and chain-link fence on sides of rink to reduce puck loss.

Silver or grey four-door sedan believed to be the suspects’ vehicle. Photo supplied/Leduc RCMP
Leduc RCMP investigate break and enter to Calmar Post Office

Over 50 packages stolen from the Calmar Post Office Monday morning.

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, announced the province surpasses one million COVID-19 tests Friday. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
COVID-19: Central zone active cases up by 100 in last 24 hours

Most central Alberta communities under province’s enhanced measures list

Millet Fire Department 2019. Photo/ Pipestone Flyer.
Millet Fire Department hosts “Light it Up for Liam” event

The Millet Fire Department is lighting up the fire hall this season with holiday spirit.

Kyle Charles poses for a photo in Edmonton on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. Marvel Entertainment, the biggest comic book publisher in the world, hired the 34-year-old First Nations illustrator as one of the artists involved in Marvel Voice: Indigenous Voices #1 in August. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
VIDEO: Indigenous illustrator of new Marvel comic hopes Aboriginal women feel inspired

Kyle Charles says Indigenous women around the world have reached out

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca said Monday Nov. 23, 2020, that late-stage trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was up to 90% effective, giving public health officials hope they may soon have access to a vaccine that is cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
VIDEO: How do the leading COVID vaccines differ? And what does that mean for Canada?

All three of the drug companies are incorporating novel techniques in developing their vaccines

Ilaria Rubino is shown in this undated handout image at University of Alberta. Alberta researcher Rubino has developed technology allowing mostly salt to kill pathogens in COVID-19 droplets as they land on a mask. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-University of Alberta
Alberta researcher gets award for COVID-19 mask innovation

The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval.

Russ and Luanne Carl are sharing about their experiences of fighting COVID-19 this past summer. (Photo submitted)
Stettler couple opens up about COVID-19 battle

Luanne and Russ Carl urge others to bolster personal safety measures amidst ongoing pandemic

This 2019 photo provided by The ALS Association shows Pat Quinn. Quinn, a co-founder of the viral ice bucket challenge, died Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020, at the age of 37. (Scott Kauffman/The ALS Association via AP)
Co-founder of viral ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dies at 37

Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti speaks with the media following party caucus in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Exclusion of mental health as grounds for assisted death is likely temporary: Lametti

Senators also suggested the exclusion renders the bill unconstitutional

Claudio Mastronardi, Toronto branch manager at Carmichael Engineering, is photographed at the company’s offices in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. As indoor air quality becomes a major concern in places of business, HVAC companies are struggling to keep up with demand for high quality filtration systems. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Business is booming for HVAC companies as commercial buildings see pandemic upgrades

‘The demand right now is very high. People are putting their health and safety ahead of cost’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Long-awaited federal rent subsidy program for businesses hurt by COVID-19 opens today

The new program will cover up to 65 per cent of rent or commercial mortgage interest

Most Read