Vernon court hears violent details of longstanding 'toxic' relationship | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon court hears violent details of longstanding 'toxic' relationship

November 21, 2019 - 6:00 PM

A man who was first convicted for violence against his spouse nearly a decade ago was back in front of a judge in Vernon as the court heard details of how his former partner had suffered again from his violent behaviour.

Vernon court heard yesterday, Nov. 20, how David James Courtoreille, born 1969, had confined his former partner of over 20 years in a hotel room at the Royal Park Inn motel in Vernon, where for several days he repetitively abused her.

Crown lawyer Margaret Cissell told the court how the couple had been staying in the motel for five days in December 2018, and following an argument, Courtoreille had begun abusing her.

"He had been kicking her, he had been throwing hot water at her, he was not letting her eat, he was not letting her sleep," Cissell told the court.

Cissell passed Judge Jeremy Guild 17 different photographs of the complainant's injuries showing scratches and bruising on her body.

“He would grab her head and put her head into the toilet and flush it and flush it,” Cissell told the court.

When Courtoreille went out onto the hotel balcony, the complainant managed to flee the hotel room and made her way to the front desk of the hotel. She was taken to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital where she remained for five days.

Police arrived at the hotel and arrested Courtoreille, Dec. 17, 2018. He was charged with assault, assault causing bodily harm, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, and unlawful confinement or imprisonment. Courtoreille pled guilty to one charge of assault causing bodily harm in October 2019.

The court heard how the couple had been in a “toxic” relationship for over 20 years and Courtoreille had been convicted several times during their relationship and had once assaulted her with a knife.

Courtoreille had a history of drug and alcohol abuse and they had both used crystal meth.

Cissell told the court how the couple had been drinking heavily at the time and for a period of roughly five days in the motel, Courtoreille had repetitively thrown cans and bottles at the complainant. At one point Courtoreille had sat on the complainant putting his full body weight on her heart, knowing that she had undergone heart surgery. He also refused to give the complainant her various medications.

"Since 8 a.m. that morning he'd woken up, and kicked her, and hit her, screamed at her," she said.

Cissell often quoted statements from the victim stating "every moment, every movement, every breath I took was wrong, it made him mad and he beat me up again."

Courtoreille sat in the public gallery throughout the court proceedings as Cissell readout details from several psychiatric reports.

"(Courtoreille) has little insight into his violent behaviour... and takes little responsibility," Cissell told the court. "He sees her in part as responsible for 'pushing his buttons' and blames her for his violence."

Following an earlier conviction, Courtoreille had failed to complete a respectful relationship program.

The court heard how although there was a "significant history of violence" throughout the couple's relationship they had kept getting back together over the last two decades.

The Crown asked for a sentence of 16 to 24 months of jail time. Defence lawyer Brian Loewen asked for a sentence of time already served and as Courtoreille had already spent five months in jail, before being released in May, with credit it would amount to a sentence of eight months.

The sentencing hearing was adjourned for the second time before the lawyers could complete their submissions. The sentencing will continue at a later date.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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