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By: Terry Pedwell The Canadian Press
Published on Tue Apr 26 2016
OTTAWA — A Mountie accused of torturing and starving his 11-year-old son told an Ottawa court he was in a constant battle to control the boy’s bad behaviour — a battle that ultimately resulted in him physically restraining and hurting the boy.
But in a second day of testimony in his own defence, the man, whose name cannot be published in order to protect the boy’s identity, said his wife was never present when he “hit, burned or slapped” his son.
“It was a war between me and (my son),” the man said Tuesday as he detailed behavioural problems he said he experienced with his son, suggesting the boy was often out of control.
“I am living with the devil at home.”
But the officer, who once worked for the RCMP’s national security unit, said his wife was never present when he assaulted his son.
And he never told his wife to hit the boy with a wooden spoon, the man said.
In September, the boy, who was then 13, told the court that his father forced his stepmother to hit him for not doing his homework.
The court heard the boy had been beaten by his father with a wooden stick and burned with a barbecue lighter while chained in the basement of his west-end Ottawa suburban home.
The man and his wife each face a charge of aggravated assault, forcible confinement and failing to provide the necessaries of life.
The woman is also charged with assaulting the boy with a weapon, while the man faces other charges of sexual assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon.
In earlier testimony Tuesday, the father told court the boy frequently made up outlandish stories.
He described in detail a Florida family vacation taken in 2012, a trip he said he thought his son enjoyed.
Last fall, the boy testified that during the vacation he was left tied up in a hotel room, where he was forced to urinate on himself.
“That never happened,” the officer said under questioning from his lawyer Robert Carew. He showed the court pictures from two vacations where he, his wife and three children appeared happy together.
The Mountie, now 44 and suspended from the force without pay, and the boy’s stepmother were charged in February 2013 after the emaciated boy, then 11 years old, was found wandering in search of water.
The court earlier heard testimony that the boy was fed two peanut butter pitas a day before escaping his chains and weighed only 50 pounds when taken to hospital.
The man said his son consistently made up stories and that it always frustrated him.
His frustrations with the boy’s behaviour, combined with problems at work, led him to go on anti-depressants, said the officer. He also testified that he attempted suicide three times, the first time at age 19 and twice later when he felt helpless against his son’s problems.
The boy finished the 2012 school year in June, but never returned after his parents decided to home-school him the following September.
That seemed to be a good decision, for about a month and a half, until the boy “suddenly decided he didn’t want to do homework anymore,” the father testified.
And soon, the boy was acting out again, even defecating on his books, the man said.
In a police interview after his arrest in 2013, the officer admitted he tied his son to a wall or a pole in the basement of his home, where the boy developed cuts on his wrists from the chains or plastic zip ties used to bind him.
The current portion of the trial is scheduled to run until May 6.
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