By Stephanie Hannah

By: Paralegal Student · June 3, 2014 · Filed Under Uncategorized · 2 Comments 

According to the Alyshah Hasham of the Toronto Star, Paul Martin, the Canadian man who was acquitted of criminal charges by a Jamaican jury in 2011 is currently facing both criminal and family trials in Oshawa Ontario. It is alleged that Martin, slashed and strangled his wife Cathy Clayson while on a trip to Jamaica, December 2010. However, before a Jamaican Jury, Martin claimed self-defense, and argued that it was actually Clayson who had attacked him. He was acquitted of “wound with intention” charges eleven months later. Clayson, who suffered cuts to the thumb and neck claims that her husband attempted to kill her while in an isolated area in Jamaica. She is currently trying to recover damages for injuries sustained in the incident, as well as seeking a divorce and to forbid Martin from having access to their two young children.

According to the Star, the latest news following the family trial is thatMartin, who has decided to not obtain legal counsel and will represent himself, has been able to quibble with wife Clayson’s testimony. In emotional exchanges between Martin and his wife while on the stand, Martin was able to find contradicting elements to Clayson’s current and past testimony from Jamaica. Using police statements from the incident, Martin is able to point out inconsistencies in Clayson’s story. She claims that Martin pulled over on the side of the road to take a photo where he was able to slash her throat from behind the passenger seat in the car. In her testimony in both family and criminal court, Clayson states that Martin did not tell her he was then taking her to a hospital and in fact that she had to beg him to. The police statements recorded shortly after the incident and entered into trial in Jamaica suggest the contrary. Even though the correctness of the Jamaican trial transcripts has been at issue before the court, Justice D Roger Timms has recently decided that the transcripts would be considered accurate, and the trial will move forward.

 

Reference

Hasham, Alyshah. “Husband in Slashing Case Renews Challenge to Wife’s Testimony.” The Toronto Star. 29 May 2014Web 1 June 2014. http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2014/05/29/husband_in_slashing_case_renews_challenge_to_wifes_testimony.html

Comments

2 Responses to “By Stephanie Hannah”

  1. Lauren Wianecki on June 7th, 2014 11:53 am

    In regards to this case, there are diverging facts that have come forward. She alleged as you note, that he attempted to strangle and cut her throat. He alleges his actions were in self-defense, she ended up in hospital for treatment and he ended up being charged. Since the incident, Martin has been denied access to his children and for whatever reason he has neglected to obtain legal counsel to represent him, electing instead to represent himself. What is apparent is that there was a disagreement – a violent disagreement. As you also pointed out, Martin’s case has uncovered inconsistences in his ex wife police statements, which casts a shadow of doubt over the truth, however she may have been deeply traumatized when she gave her police statements, which could account for the inconsistences identified. Did he deliberately intend to harm or kill his wife or was this an act of self-defence? He was not hurt. He had a knife in his possession, who when they are taking photographs in a knowingly isolated area in Jamaica with their spouse would have a knife on hand. Given that there are two different stories, it would be particularly important to determine how the wounds were inflicted. For example, if her neck was in fact sliced from behind, then Martin’s claim that this was self-defense would likely raise some questions as someone doesn’t usually attack another person with their back to them. It’s a very interesting case, but clearly the victim’s are their children.

  2. By Jason E Lau on June 8th, 2014 3:26 pm

    This case is fascinating on several levels. The first would be the authoritative influence that the acquittal from the Jamaican court would have on the Oshawa Court’s decision. How much authority, if any, would a court decision from another country have regarding a case? Although both criminal charges, it seems that the charges are different between what Mr. Martin was acquitted of in Jamaica compared to what he was charged with in Oshawa court.

    The next very interesting element is that he is self-representing. This seems to be a very bold move on the part of Mr. Martin, as he faces both family and criminal charges, something that should not be taken lightly. I would wonder if self-representation would help or harm his case. Judges are generally more helpful and guiding with individuals who are self-representing, but at the same time, Mr. Martin could potentially open himself to a great deal of legal problems with which he is not trained for.

    Lastly, the contradiction of evidence is troubling. The evidence that is submitted into this case is the framework upon which judgement is cast upon. Not only was the wife’s personal testimony contradictory, but there were also formal reports that contradicted the evidence being presented. How could a trier of fact be able to assert which claims are true? Moreover, which information would be excluded entirely?

    There are a number of interesting elements to this case that create a great deal of room for debate and inspection.