Crockwell likened Bay Bulls grounds to 'a war zone'

The jury in the Leo Crockwell trial has heard a conversation with an RCMP crisis negotiator trying to persuade him to end the December 2010 standoff.

Caution: This story contains language that some may find offensive

The jury in the Leo Crockwell trial has heard a tense conversation between him and an RCMP crisis negotiator who was trying to persuade him to end a standoff south of St. John's.

Cpl. Patrick Gehue testified Monday at Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador that he had had no luck getting through to Crockwell on Dec. 4, 2010, the first day of what turned out to be a weeklong standoff in Bay Bulls.

Leo Crockwell phoned an RCMP negotiator on the third day of a December 2010 standoff. (CBC )

Gehue could not reach Crockwell — who faces assault and weapons charges laid after the standoff ended — on the second day either, despite calling his cellphone, the landline inside his mother's home and finally a phone that the RCMP put in the house.

On the third day, however, Gehue received a call from Crockwell, who was clearly angry about how the Mounties were handling the dispute.

When Gehue identified himself, Crockwell asked for "the boss," and that he wasn't interested in speaking with the person answering the phone.

"I want to talk to the top guy here now, 'cause there's a lot of shit going down here in Bay Bulls."

Moments later, Crockwell said that he was "in a house down here [where] it looks like a f--kin' war zone."

Mounties accused of 'war games'

When Gehue asked Crockwell what he saw, he replied, "The guys up on my property. I'm sitting on the f--kin' hill [and] I got steel ramps in front of my pickup, and you can take the whole f--kin' works right now and go over on your property and play war games."

"OK, just one second now," Gehue told Crockwell.

"Get it the f--k out of there," Crockwell replied.

During the conversation, Crockwell told Gehue that he did not have a criminal record, and not even a parking ticket.

"You trying to harass someone to death?" he asked.

Gehue said no.

"Everybody in Newfoundland knows the f--kin' difference now," he said.

The call ended moments later. "You sound pretty upset about that, Leo," said Gehue, although he heard nothing back from Crockwell.

The jury is expected to hear evidence until the end of May.

In cross-examination, Crockwell — who is representing himself, having fired his defence lawyer — pressed Gehue on whether he thought the RCMP were escalating matters during the standoff.

Gehue replied several times that the tactics used during the mission were not his decision, and that his job was to negotiate with Crockwell.