Crown’s main witness cries on stand at assault trial for Patrick Brazeau

The central Crown witness in the criminal trial for suspended senator Patrick Brazeau wiped away tears Tuesday as she listened to her own panicked voice on emergency recordings that were played in court.

GATINEAU, Que. — The central Crown witness in the criminal trial for suspended senator Patrick Brazeau wiped away tears Tuesday as she listened to her own panicked voice on emergency recordings that were played in court.

The woman, whose identity is protected under a publication ban, was testifying for a second day against Brazeau, who is facing charges of assault and sexual assault stemming from an incident two years ago.

Brazeau, who was kicked out of the Conservative caucus shortly after his arrest, has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The complainant, standing in the witness box, dabbed her face with a tissue as she listened to her exchange with an operator in two brief audio clips that were played in the courtroom in Gatineau, Que., north of Ottawa.

Moments later, after the woman asked for a break, the judge called for a brief recess.

“It made me relive how I felt that day,” she later said, speaking through an interpreter, after Crown prosecutor Stephany Robitaille asked her to explain the rush of emotion.

“I felt a lot of fear.”

On Monday, the woman described in graphic detail how Brazeau allegedly pushed her down a flight of stairs, spat in her face and smacked her head into a wall during a violent confrontation at a Gatineau home.

The woman also alleges hat Brazeau grabbed her breast with force, pulled her pants down and sexually assaulted her.

In one of the recordings played in court, the woman’s voice shook as she explained her situation to the operator.

She explained that she had been hit a few times and pushed down a flight of stairs. The woman said she had marks on her body, but that she did not need medical treatment.

When the man on the other end of the line asked for the alleged attacker’s name, she replied: “Patrick Brazeau.”

The woman, who sounded like she was crying, stayed on the phone until police arrived at the home.

The court also heard more details Tuesday about a damaged photo found in the residence that featured Brazeau and Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In a police photograph of the Harper photo, the prime minister’s face appears to have been torn out of the image and then pieced back together.

The woman testified that the Harper photo was in good condition before the incident. She also said Brazeau took framed photos off the wall before police arrived at the residence.

On Monday, the judge heard testimony from a Gatineau police officer, who presented photos in court showing bruises and red marks on different parts of the woman’s body. More photos of the woman’s injuries were presented in court Tuesday.

The police photos also showed broken railings inside the house, which the officer described as the scene of a struggle with a “certain amount of violence.”

The Crown expects the trial to finish Wednesday.

Brazeau’s legal troubles will be far from over, however. He still faces charges of fraud and breach of trust in connection with his Senate expense claims.

Last year the Senate ordered Brazeau to repay almost $50,000 over disputed expense claims. he refused and the Senate garnisheed his salary until November 2013, when he was suspended without pay.

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