© — Telegram file photo
Raymond Gerald Newman is seen here in a file image.
It was an isolated incident and a specific set of circumstances which led to Raymond Gerald Newman being charged with assault, his lawyer said Friday after Newman pleaded guilty to the offence.
He also pleaded guilty to breaching a condition of his bail which he had been on after he was charged with murdering his estranged wife, Chrissy Predham-Newman, 28.
Her body was found in her Airport Heights apartment in St. John's Jan. 21, 2007. She had been stabbed numerous times and her throat was slit.
Ray Newman was arrested and charged in June 2009 after a 2 1/2-year police investigation. However, last month, he was acquitted of second-degree murder after most of the evidence in the case was excluded.
The judge also concluded that Royal Newfoundland Constabulary investigators violated Newman's Charter rights during their questioning of him and unlawfully obtained search warrants where the evidence in the case was discovered.
The Crown attorney's office is appealing.
Defence lawyer Mike King told The Telegram Friday that after Newman pleaded guilty to the assault and breaching-conditions charges in provincial court, he asked the judge to grant him an absolute discharge, which he did. As a result, Newman won't have a criminal record.
Senior Crown prosecutor Phil LeFeuvre said the Crown had been asking for time served. Newman spent a little more than two weeks in custody after he was arrested on the two charges.
"What it means is that there was a finding of guilt, but there's no actual conviction. It's a fairly common thing for people with first offences," LeFeuvre explained.
King said Newman was charged with assault and the breach in February 2011 during a custody dispute over the daughter he had with Predham-Newman.
"After he was charged, what was happening (is) he was going through a custody dispute with his daughter, and Child, Youth and Family Services had decided they wanted to place surveillance on his house when he was exercising custody," King said.
"This wasn't court-ordered. They applied for a court order, but were denied, so they decided to do it themselves. They're allowed to do that, but they weren't allowed to go on his property. So basically they parked outside his property on the street, and this was going on for a period of time and caused a good bit of frustration and stress."
King said that on the day the charge was laid, a security guard mistakenly thought the child was going to be at Newman's home, but she wasn't scheduled to be there that day. He said Newman was outside shovelling snow and the security guard was inside his parked car.
"Ray started pushing some snow onto the car and the security guard tried to get out of his car and Ray pushed the door closed to basically keep him from getting out. So Ray was kind of in between the snow and the car and Ray pushed the door. There were no injuries or anything," King said.
He said the security guard called 911 and the police showed up.
"He spent 16 days in jail before we got him out on bail again, which is more than he would have served for the sentence, in my opinion. I pointed out to the judge that all together, before and after that incident, he's been on strict conditions - curfew, no alcohol - for over three years, and this is the only incident - an isolated incident and very specific circumstances, not as if he just went out downtown, had too much to drink and got into a fight. It had been brewing for a while," King said.
Newman's guilty pleas on the two charges have no bearing on the Crown's appeal of his aquittal of murder, LeFeuvre said.
"One file has nothing to do with the other," he said.