RCMP diver tells of unsuccessful search for missing fisherman at murder trial

The trial of a man accused in the death of a fisherman from Cape Breton heard an RCMP diver explain Monday how police searched unsuccessfully for the body of Phillip Boudreau.

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. — The trial of a man accused in the death of a fisherman from Cape Breton heard an RCMP diver explain Monday how police searched unsuccessfully for the body of Phillip Boudreau.

Const. Tom McLeod, incident commander for the dive team, told the second-degree murder trial of Joseph James Landry that his team found the motor from Boudreau’s boat on June 2, 2013, the day after he disappeared.

McLeod said based on the location of the motor and a number of other factors including wind and current speeds, the team searched an area of Mackerel Cove and they expected to find a body.

“If the current is moving at .5 knots, it will move a victim along the bottom,” he said. “The body was not there.”

McLeod told the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., that Boudreau’s body was never found, including after the team searched a different area following a re-enactment.

Sgt. Kevin Mallay, an RCMP expert in computer forensic analysis, said data from a navigational plotter from the Twin Maggies showed a number of marked locations that the boat had been in and around Isle Madame and Petit de Grat harbour, but none of the locations had a date stamp.

Landry, 67, of Little Anse has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Boudreau.

He is one of four people charged in the case.

Last week, the Crown told a jury that Boudreau, 43, died as the result of a sustained attack by a three-man lobster fishing crew on board the Twin Maggies.

Crown prosecutor Steve Drake said the Twin Maggies rammed Boudreau’s boat three times at the mouth of Petit de Grat harbour on June 1, 2013. He said Landry fired four shots from a rifle, one of which hit Boudreau’s leg.

Boudreau’s boat overturned after it was rammed the third time and he was then hooked with a gaff and dragged out to sea, Drake said.

Police launched an extensive search of the area that only turned up Boudreau’s black and teal baseball-style cap on the shoreline and his green rubber fishing boots in water, about 20 metres off shore, Drake said.

The Crown said Boudreau was last seen by his brother near the Petit de Grat wharf on June 1, 2013, just before 6 a.m. Drake said Boudreau took his red and white speedboat out on the water and it was found overturned without its motor by a local fisherman about one hour later.

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