A Torbay man has been found not guilty of sexual assault, assault with a weapon and trying to choke a woman after the complainant gave the court what appeared to be a different version of events from the one she had told police.

Grant Tapper, 32, was found guilty on two counts of common assault and sentenced to time served. 

Tapper, who has a lengthy record for violent offences, was charged after allegedly attacking the woman with a hammer and butter knife in April and May, 2017.

The police charged Tapper after the complainant gave them a two-hour statement. 

Witness at Tapper Trial

In Newfoundland and Labrador provincial court, the woman testified that Grant Tapper did not rape her, and that she consented to having sex with him. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

But on the stand in provincial court in St. John's, the woman said she "consented" to the sex. 

"At what point did you consent?" asked Crown prosecutor Jessica Gallant.

"I don't know, but he didn't force me. I said 'No,' and then he started undoing my pants and I let him," the woman replied.

"He didn't rape me."

Several times Gallant asked the woman, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, to look over her statement to refresh her memory.

While the statement wasn't entered into evidence or read in court, it was apparent that it didn't correspond with her testimony.

Just a game

Describing the incident in May, the woman acknowledged that Tapper had a butter knife. She used gestures to suggest to the court that he was waving it around.

"He didn't try to stab me. I was scared he would hurt me with it, but nothing happened," she said. 

Jessica Gallant

Crown prosecutor Jessica Gallant asked the woman, several times, to look at the statement she gave to the police to refresh her memory. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

Gallant asked her, "Reading that part of your statement doesn't help?"

She replied, "No."

The woman said she was struck on the finger with a hammer, but that it was part of "a game."

She said Tapper had spread his fingers apart and was hitting the hammer between them.

"I put my hand close" and got struck, she said.

Tapper was also charged with attempting to choke or strangle her.

"He put his hands on my neck. It wasn't like choking, more like holding me," she said at trial.

Jekyll and Hyde

The woman said that Tapper had been drinking.

She testified that he is like "Jekyll and Hyde" when he drinks and had called her a "whore, c--t, and a bitch."

She said, "When he doesn't drink, he's a very nice person."

Tapper's lawyer, Michael Ralph, asked, "Are you on good terms now?" She said, "Yes."

In the end, Tapper was found guilty of assault involving pushing and shoving, and breaches of probation.

But he was found not guilty of sexual assault, not guilty of the choking offence, not guilty of forcible confinement, not guilty of the weapon offences, and not guilty of threatening her.

Tapper had been in custody since being arrested in May and was sentenced to time served.

He was under a court order not to contact the woman. She asked to be allowed to contact him.

Judge Colin Flynn said he would allow contact, if the woman invited it.