The case of an RCMP officer charged with multiple counts of assault started in a St. John's courtroom Wednesday, with a defence lawyer claiming that a woman at the centre of the case was out for revenge.

Cpl. Steven Blackmore is accused of six assaults against one woman, including assault with a knife, sexually assaulting her twice and careless use of a firearm.

Blackmore is also accused of assaulting a second, younger woman.

A publication ban restricts what details can be reported, however in court Wednesday defence lawyer Bob Simmonds brought up an incident that would imply that the women was vindictive towards Blackmore.

Simmonds said the younger woman had been drunk, belligerent, had called the police "assholes" and that she hit Blackmore in the face, and that's when Blackmore allegedly pushed her.

The woman testified that she was not drunk, and that she put her hand up to touch Blackmore's face to try to stop him from screaming at her.

The woman said that was when Blackmore pushed her about 10 feet, hurting her and making her hit her head.

Complainant interviewed multiple times

Not only did Simmonds claim the woman wanted revenge, he also claimed that the RCMP's lead investigator on Blackmore's case may have been overzealous in his efforts.

Simmonds asked Sgt. Kent Osmond why he had interviewed the complainant five times. "Is it fair to say you went above and beyond in this investigation?" Simmonds asked. 

"We are expected to be thorough," Osmond answered.

Simmonds pointed out the woman did not mention Blackmore's alleged careless use of a firearm until her fourth statement, and did not mention the sexual assault until her fifth. 

Also in relation to the sexual assault charge, Simmonds said the woman indicated in a previous statement that "[Blackmore] never forced himself on me like that. I can't say that. That would be a lie."

Blackmore had been a resident of Gander and had been assigned to the detachment in nearby Carmanville when the charges were laid.

The Crown has nine more witnesses to call in the case, and is alleging that the charges stem from incidents between 1996 and May 2012.

With files from Glenn Payette