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A man accused of multiple violent crimes against his ex-girlfriend was convicted of all but one of them Wednesday, with the judge saying parts of the man’s version of events were nonsensical and bizarre.
Provincial court Judge Mike Madden found Timothy Blake, 20, guilty of charges of assault, assault with a weapon, forcible confinement, uttering threats and breaking into the woman’s home with the intention to commit a crime, stemming from two separate incidents earlier this year. Madden acquitted Blake of a charge of attempting to choke the woman, saying he didn’t believe Blake had done it.
Madden noted neither Blake nor the woman had provided testimony that was completely consistent with the statements they had given police, but Blake’s testimony had varied the most and included details that made no sense. Blake had also tried to paint a “rosy picture” of himself, Madden said.
“Mr. Blake tried to assert that he was not the type of person to use violence or threats against a woman, and that he was an individual who was honest and acknowledged guilt when he was guilty. His assertions carried less weight after cross-examination on his (criminal) record. His character evidence completely wilted.”
The woman testified during Blake’s trial that she and Blake had been dating for a few months when they began arguing at her home on March 8. She said Blake had followed her first to the bedroom, then the bathroom, where he threw a container of yogurt at her. She slipped on it as she tried to get away, she said, and Blake pushed her back to the floor when she managed to get up, knocking the wind out of her.
The woman said she got back up and went to the living room, where Blake grabbed her by the neck with both hands and choked her.
"I was afraid that he wasn't going to let go," the woman testified.
She said she went to the porch to put on her boots and leave the house, but Blake closed the door each time she opened it, telling her that she wasn't going and threatening to cut off her legs. When he left to answer his ringing phone, the woman said, she ran outside and down the street, approaching a neighbour and asking her to call police.
The woman said she later moved to a different neighbourhood and was getting out of bed on the morning of May 4 when she heard Blake knocking on her front door and calling out angrily for her to let him in. When she refused, he tried to open the door, she said, then told her that he would call people to come and "finish her off."
The woman testified that she called her cousin, who called police. She then walked into her kitchen and found Blake standing there.
"He grabbed me by my hand and tried to bend my fingers backward. He also grabbed me by the mouth and pressed hard with his two fingers."
Taking the stand, Blake testified his ex-girlfriend was a violent drug addict and he had been packing his belongings on the day of the first incident when she came into the bedroom and attacked him. He left the house while she remained there, he said.
Blake maintained he did not assault the woman and did not force his way into her house.
Defence lawyer Tim O'Brien pointed out there had been no marks on the woman's neck after the alleged choking and questioned the woman on why she hadn’t left through a window or the back door if Blake had been blocking her from leaving through the front.
"His character evidence completely wilted.” — Judge Mike Madden
The judge agreed that the fact the woman — who was not in the courtroom Wednesday — had no marks on her neck didn’t corroborate a choking, but said it made no difference if she had technically been able to leave the home another way.
“She tried to exit through the front door and he kept closing it and saying she was not leaving. This, after he had assaulted her and threatened to break her legs or cut them off,” Madden said.
The fact that Blake’s name had been on the lease for the residence at the time made no difference either, the judge said, since he hadn’t been living there and didn’t have a key.
Looking at the entirety of the evidence presented instead of each individual piece of evidence, Madden said he had a clearer picture of what had gone on.
“Given the concerns I have with Mr. Blake’s credibility, as a result of the weaknesses between his testimony and his prior statement, and his record, and given that independent testimony and other evidence, while not entirely neutral, clearly supports (the woman) and contradicts Mr. Blake, I find that his testimony is not believable,” Madden said.
Blake has already pleaded guilty to other charges related to the incidents, including fleeing from police, dangerous driving and driving while disqualified. He will be back in court Nov. 20 for a sentencing hearing.