Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lawyer Raises Sex-Fantasy Theory at Man's Trial in Death of N.S. Police Officer

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Lawyer Raises Sex-Fantasy Theory at Man's Trial in Death of N.S. Police Officer

Article excerpt

Lawyer raises sex-fantasy theory at murder trial

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HALIFAX - A defence lawyer appeared to suggest Tuesday that an off-duty police officer died accidentally during a consensual sexual encounter inside a Halifax apartment after encouraging Christopher Garnier to choke her.

Dr. Matthew Bowes, Nova Scotia's chief medical examiner, told Garnier's second-degree murder trial that Catherine Campbell died of strangulation, and suffered head injuries including black eyes and a fractured nose.

Bowes said her body was found face down and partially decomposed.

Under cross examination, defence lawyer Joel Pink asked Bowes about "erotic asphyxiation" and presented a hypothetical scenario, describing a sexual encounter between "Mr. A and Ms. B."

Pink suggested Ms. B had a fantasy about being dominated and while they were kissing in the hallway of the apartment, she told Mr. A to choke her.

"Assume in the hallway, Mr. A put his right hand on Ms. B's neck and Ms. B told Mr. A not to worry. Assume further that Ms. B asked Mr. A to squeeze harder," Pink said to Bowes.

Pink suggested Mr. A then led Ms. B down the hallway to a pullout couch.

"Assume that Mr. A applied pressure with his right forearm to the left side of the neck while his elbow was on the mattress," said Pink.

"Ms. B then told Mr. A to slap her and Mr. A did. Ms. B pressured Mr. A's right arm to apply more pressure to her neck. Assume at no time did Ms. B resist the actions of Mr. A."

Pink added: "Assume further Mr. A noticed blood coming from Ms. B's nose area. Assume further that Mr. A went to retrieve a towel and when he returned he found Ms. B completely still. Ms. B had stopped breathing."

Pink asked Bowes if the hypothetical scenario would fall into the category of erotic asphyxiation -- or breath play, he said -- and he agreed, conceding the possibilities in the hypothetical could not be excluded. …

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