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Joshua Steele-Young trial delayed due to missing evidence

Morgan Pardy.
Morgan Pardy. - Rosie Mullaley

Morgan Pardy, paralyzed in car crash, to resume testimony Wednesday

The trial of a man charged with causing the car crash that left his ex-girlfriend paralyzed was postponed Tuesday to allow police time to locate a missing piece of evidence.

Joshua Steele-Young, 23, has pleaded not guilty to charges of forcible confinement and dangerous driving causing bodily harm in connection with a crash on Pitts Memorial Drive in St. John's on March 20 of last year. The crash saw his ex-girlfriend, Morgan Pardy, ejected from his Honda Civic as it rolled multiple times, causing her to break a segment of her spine and several ribs and puncture a lung. She is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair.

Pardy, 23, was the first to testify at Steele-Young's trial when it got underway Monday, providing emotional testimony of her recollection of the accident and events surrounding it.

It was later discovered that the disclosure package provided to the Crown by police was missing a piece of evidence, reportedly one of the statements Pardy had given to investigators while she was still in hospital. As a result, neither prosecutor Jennifer Lundrigan nor defence lawyer Randy Piercey had seen it.

That piece of evidence was apparently located late in the day, and the trial was then scheduled to resume Wednesday afternoon. Pardy will be back on the stand to finish her testimony before being cross-examined by Piercey.

Joshua Steele-Young.
Joshua Steele-Young.

Pardy testified she and Steele-Young had broken up the week before the accident, and she had agreed to go for a drive to talk with him. They began to argue, she said, and Steele-Young became angry, calling her names and speeding up. She said she took off her seatbelt and told him several times to let her out of the car.

"He kept going faster, changing gears," Pardy testified, sobbing at points. "I was scared.

"I just wanted to get out of the car."

She said she remembered Steele-Young passing a grey vehicle near a turnoff to get to Paradise, then heard him say, "F---!"

Pardy said she recalled being tossed around inside the car before waking up in an ambulance and again, later, in the intensive care unit in hospital. She said she spent close to five months in hospital and another three months at the Miller Centre, where she underwent physiotherapy. She cried as she indicated she has no sensation in her legs.

In addition to charges directly related to the crash, Steele-Young is facing a charge of breaching court orders after he allegedly attempted to contact Pardy while she was in hospital, despite being banned from doing so. He was arrested on that charge in July of last year and later granted bail, but was ordered by a provincial court judge to stay in custody until his parents provided proof to the court that the internet service in their home, where he was ordered to remain living, had been disconnected.

Twitter: @tara_bradbury

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