Defence Lawyer Suggests Joshua Boyle’s Wife Lied About an Alleged Assault

April 5, 2019 Updated: April 5, 2019

OTTAWA—A lawyer for Joshua Boyle is suggesting his wife made up a story that he struck her in the face at their Ottawa apartment in the months after the couple were freed from captivity in Afghanistan.

Lawyer Lawrence Greenspon is dissecting Caitlan Coleman’s allegations that Boyle repeatedly assaulted her before she fled their home in late 2017.

Boyle, 35, has pleaded not guilty to offences against Coleman including assault, sexual assault and unlawful confinement.

This undated image from a video released by the Afghan Taliban shows Canadian Joshua Boyle and American Caitlan Coleman, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. (SITE Intel Group via AP)

The Crown witnesses who testified Thursday painted a picture of Boyle as a self-absorbed man who exerted obvious control over his wife.

Unger remembered Coleman as a quiet person who did not make a lot of eye contact.

Coleman and Boyle would speak to each other, she recalled. “But she would look to him for, I would say, cues.”

Often, Boyle would use hand gestures to direct his wife’s actions, she said.

During cross-examination today, Greenspon quizzed Coleman about a December 2017 incident in which she says Boyle hit her in the face following an argument in the dining room.

After pressing her for details of the argument, the number of times he struck her and how she reacted, Greenspon suggested the incident did not occur—a conclusion Coleman quickly and flatly rejected.

Coleman and Boyle were seized by extremists in Afghanistan during a 2012 backpacking trip and rescued five years later by Pakistani forces.