A young woman told a jury Wednesday that Steven Blackmore used so much force to shove her, she ended up on the other side of the room.
“He put his hands on my shoulders and pushed me 10 feet across the room,” the woman said while testifying on the opening day of the trial of Cpl. Steven Blackmore at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s.
The woman is one of two who were reportedly assaulted by Blackmore, an RCMP officer.
Their identities are protected by a court ban.
Blackmore is charged with 10 counts, including six counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault and single counts of assault with a weapon (a knife) and careless use of a firearm.
Blackmore — a resident of Gander who was assigned to the Carmanville detachment — was charged in June 2012.
The offences are said to have happened over a number of years in a number of communities, including Gander, George’s Brook, Wesleyville and Carbonear. Blackmore, 40, is not on active duty and was released shortly after his arrest.
The incident involving the young woman was said to have happened in May 2012.
“He was in my face spitting and screaming at me,” she said under direct questioning by Crown prosecutor Jeff Summers.
She said she put her hand up and lightly touched his face in an attempt to have him move away.
“I didn’t push hard. He didn’t move. I’m not very big,” said the woman, who weighs just over 100 pounds to Blackmore’s 250-pound build.
She said Blackmore left after he pushed her. She said a couch broke her fall, but she hurt her hip, head and wrist. She was taken to hospital and released shortly after.
“After it happened I said he wasn’t getting away with it,” she said. “Being a police officer, he's trained to deal (with those situations).”
Under cross-examination by defence lawyer Bob Simmonds, the woman admitted she had been using drugs and drinking that night.
Over a number of years, she had been in hospital for excessive use of ecstasy and cocaine, but wasn’t an addict, the woman said.
However, Simmonds pointed out that not long before the alleged incident with Blackmore, the woman had texted a friend to tell him she was hooked on drugs. She had also told a family member she was addicted and threatened suicide.
“Just because I say something in a text message doesn’t mean it’s true,” the woman said.
“Well, that causes me great concern,” said Simmonds, pointing to the importance of credibility for the jury.
Simmonds also pointed to issues in the investigation and questioned lead investigator, RCMP Sgt. Kent Osmond.
He asked the officer why he didn’t check the background of the main complainant, who was fired from her job for lying on a resume.
“A lie is an untruth and that is a significant lie,” he said. “It speaks to her character.”
Simmonds said he also found it odd that in the five statements the woman gave to police over a period of months, the first mention of sexual assault was in her last statement.
The woman is expected to take the stand this week in the trial, which is set for three weeks.
Testimony continues today.