APTN National News
As he walked out of the Gatineau, Que., courthouse on the fourth day of his assault and sexual assault trial Thursday, suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau told the trailing reporters to be patient, because he had been patient.
The comment was a hint of what’s to come when the case resumes on May 14.
Defence lawyer Gerard Larocque has been methodically laying the groundwork for Brazeau’s expected testimony which will likely attempt to paint him as the victim of a woman enraged at the thought of breaking up.
In the final moments of the hearing Thursday, Larocque submitted a photo as an exhibit of the fallen Algonquin politician’s upper neck and lower jaw. Larocque presented the photo during his cross-examining of Brazeau’s alleged victim.
“You can see on the throat he has a large scratch,” said Larocque. “Do you see irritation behind his neck and a mark below his face?”
“Yes,” said the alleged victim.
Media cannot show the face because of a publication ban on the victim’s name.
There are no close-up photographs of the woman’s face submitted as evidence because she suffered no bruises or markings during the alleged assault, said Larocque.
The alleged victim, who is now into the fourth day of testimony, most of it under cross-examination, has repeatedly testified Brazeau never hit her in the face. She also said during a second 911 call from that February morning in 2013 that she wasn’t hit in the face.
Larocque played a video in the courtroom of the alleged victim’s interview with police where she describes the alleged assault. In the video, the woman describes, with gestures and words, that Brazeau hit her with a closed fist on the arm and with an open hand in the face. She taps her face quickly and lightly with her hand as she describes the event.
An interpreter, who is translating from French to Spanish and back again for the alleged witness, uses the word “cachetada,” the Spanish word for a slap in the face.
“Where was he when he was slapping you in the face?” said Larocque.
“I don’t remember,” she said.
Larocque then turned to the alleged victim’s written statement which she drafted on the kitchen table of the rented Gatineau house shortly after police arrived following the 911 call.
“On the second page, ‘He hit me with his right hand in the face.’ Is that your writing?” said Larocque.
“Yes,” she said.
“So, you told police he hit you with his right hand in the face,” said Larocque.
“Yes,” she said.
“But today you don’t remember he hit you in the face,” he said.
“I don’t remember how many times he hit me, I remember he hit me,” she said.
The alleged victim also revealed for the first time she spit back at Brazeau after he spit in her face.
The type of defence questioning is not new. Larocque has focused on contradictions and omissions in the alleged victim’s testimony throughout his extensive cross-examination. He has also previously raised the alternate scenario where it was the woman who was trying to keep Brazeau inside the bedroom that morning in 2013. That she was gripping the door frame as he tried to leave and that’s how she ended up falling outside the upstairs bedroom.
What is new is the photograph, which Brazeau had someone take on Feb. 8, 2013, after he was released from police custody following his arrest the previous day.
It remains unclear how many more photos Brazeau took and which ones will be submitted as exhibits or whether the defence plans to spring more surprises on the Crown. It was clear, however, that Brazeau feels his luck is beginning to turn. While previously he said little if anything at all to reporters during his usual chaotic exits from the courthouse, this time, he was chattier.
“Be patient,” said Brazeau, as reporters asked him to give a statement. “I’ve been patient, so be patient.”
He also hugged an unknown woman who told him, “Take care, I’ll see you Monday night.” Then Brazeau entered a car driven by the mother of his current girlfriend and drove off.
with a file from Tom Fennario