An Ontario Provincial Police constable said he made a mistake when he asked a woman accused in a March 2011 fatal crash how many drinks she had consumed after she had asked for legal counsel.
Dr. Christy Natsis is charged with impaired driving causing death, dangerous driving causing death and exceeding the legal blood-alcohol limit in the March 2011 crash that killed 50-year-old Brian Casey of Ottawa. Natsis has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Const. Ryan Besner, the man who arrested Natsis after the crash, told the court he made a mistake when he asked the accused how many drinks she had consumed.
Natsis did not answer the question, he added, but her defence lawyer Michael Edelson argued it was another breach of her rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
This was the second day in a row Edelson alleged Besner violated his client’s rights.
On Wednesday, the lawyer said Besner’s repeated interruption of a 45-minute phone call between Edelson and Natsis breached his client's charter rights to legal counsel.
Besner said on the stand Wednesday that "seeing a posh-looking lady on the floor of a bathroom didn't seem right. I took the phone, told the lawyer the call was over, said good bye and hung up."
OPP officer's report not complete, defence says
Edelson also accused Besner Thursday of "holding back" facts about the arrest in his police reports.
Besner said the debris from the woman’s sport-utility vehicle was in the victim's lane and Natsis was moving slow with relaxed muscles in her face.
"You had a duty to note them in your reports but it's coming out 20 months later at the trial," said Edelson as he confronted Besner on the stand.
"You're holding back so you can ambush counsel."
Besner replied to Edelson by saying Natsis was "absolutely drunk," reported the CBC's Cory O'Kelly.
"I didn't even think of a roadside breath test. This was a straight impaired, no doubt," Besner told the court. "I was dispatched. It was my call. I arrested her."
Natsis was given a breathalyzer test after her 45-minute phone call and she was charged with having more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. Justice Neil Kozloff has yet to rule on whether the breathalyzer evidence is admissible in court.
The trial resumes Friday.