Defence questions key witness’s credibility

Woman said RCMP Cpl. Steven Blackmore forced himself on her

Rosie Mullaley
Published on June 7, 2014
RCMP Cpl. Steven Blackmore (right) was back in Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s Friday for the third day of his trial. — Photo by Rosie Mullaley/The Telegram

The defence went on the attack Friday in the trial of RCMP Cpl. Steven Blackmore, questioning the credibility of the case’s key witness.

Lawyer Bob Simmonds, got the woman — who has accused Blackmore of assaulting her several times and sexually assaulting her twice — to admit during cross-examination at Newfoundland Supreme Court in St. John’s  that she lied about things in the past a number of times.

When Simmonds asked her about a resumé she presented to her employer, the woman admitted she falsified information, including her work experience and education, to get the job.

She claimed she had attended university, when, in fact, she didn’t finish high school.

The woman said she was fired from her job when Blackmore brought the information to the employer’s attention.

“You blatantly lied,” Simmonds said, waving the resume in the air as he walked towards the jury.

“Yes, I admit, I lied, but he helped me (write the resumé),” she replied.

“How can these people determine when it’s OK for you to lie?” Simmonds asked.

“It’s not OK to lie,” the woman replied.

“You seem to think it is,” Simmonds shot back.

Simmonds noted that she lied a second time on another resumé  when applying for another job.

He also pointed out the woman gave five statements to police after the alleged offences, but only made allegations about sexual assaults in her fifth statement.

The woman said she likely would not have told police about it and only did because officers brought it up. She said a family member — who the woman confided in — had told police.

“It wasn’t a path I was going to go down,” she said. “It’s quite embarrassing.”

In regards to the sexual assault allegations, Simmonds pointed out that, in an earlier statement to police, the woman had said, “He did not force himself on me like that.”

Didn’t know the difference

But she explained, “I didn’t know there was a difference between sexual assault and rape. …

“I don’t feel I was violently raped, but I said no and was adamant about my answer.”

Yet, he still forced himself on her, she said.

On Thursday, the woman testified that Blackmore assaulted her several times — choking her, trying to smother her with a pillow, holding a knife to her throat, grabbing her face and throwing her to the floor.

Earlier in the week, a younger woman told the jury that Blackmore assaulted her by pushing her with such force, she flew 10 feet across the room.

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.

A resident of Gander who was assigned to the Carmanville detachment, he 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 trial continues Monday. It’s set for three weeks.

Twitter: @TelyCourt