June 27, 2014 - 12:28 PM
PENTICTON - Justice Peter Rogers had to intervene between defence counsel and a witness who became increasingly defensive answering questions in a dangerous offender and sentencing hearing in Penticton Supreme Court.
Earlier this week, a witness in the hearing for David Bobbitt said she is the victim of a sexual assault incident that took place in 2007 in Bobbitt’s trailer.
Yesterday, defence lawyer James Pennington questioned the victim on assaults she experienced prior to the 2007 incident with Bobbitt. He questioned whether she had a problem with alcohol, which she declined several times, but said her ex-boyfriend and others she associated with were alcoholics.
Days before the rape, she left Bobbitt’s residence because she felt threatened he would hurt her, she said. She stayed with an ex-boyfriend was previously abusive.
“There was no help… I had no safe people to go to,” she said. “I felt trapped… completely.”
She became increasingly defensive when Pennington asked her to recall multiple instances where she was abused, physically and sexually by her ex-boyfriend, an acquaintance and Bobbitt.
“I’m feeling victimized,” she told Pennington.
She said it felt like he was attacking her with accusations and “fabrications,” which she said were all lies Bobbitt was telling.
Justice Peter Rogers jumped in to take hold of the increasing tension between the witness and Pennington.
“All Mr. Pennington is doing is putting a proposition to you,” Rogers said. The witness began to speak, and he responded: “Hey, I’m talking, you’re not. I don’t want you arguing with him anymore.”
Pennington finished his cross examination by suggesting the alleged rape was make-up sex between her and Bobbitt after the couple had a fight. She responded, “No.”
The hearing continued this morning with the testimony of Dr. John Brinkerhoff, the physician who examined her the day after the alleged rape.
Looking at photos of the victim taken after the incident, he said it was not possible to tell how old the bruises on her neck, arms and legs were, but they had been there longer than a few hours.
He said a cluster of four or five bruises on her arm indicated force, most likely from a hand or fingers, was applied to that area and caused bruising.
The doctor went through the examination process and agreed with his 2007 report that overall, his findings were consistent with sexual assault.
Rogers asked if Brinkerhoff’s opinion would be any different had the victim not said she’d been assaulted?
“No, it wouldn’t,” Brinkerhoff said.
The hearing will continue Monday, June 30 at 2 p.m. in Penticton Supreme Court.
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