Man who dated Catherine Campbell testifies at Garnier murder trial

The defence in the murder trial of Christopher Garnier called its final witness Friday, a man who briefly dated Catherine Campbell.

WARNING: This story and live blog may contain graphic language and descriptions

Catherine Campbell was a Truro, N.S., police officer. (CBC)

The defence in the murder trial of Christopher Garnier called its final witness Friday, a man who briefly dated Catherine Campbell.

The man, whose name is banned from publication, testified in Nova Scotia Supreme Court about Campbell's prior sexual activity. Before he began, Justice Josh Arnold told the jury they can use the evidence to determine if Campbell enjoyed rough sex, as the defence has alleged.

The witness told the jury he had sex with Campbell twice and at one point put his hands at her throat. On cross-examination by the Crown, the man said it was a caress and that she never asked to be punched, slapped or dominated.

Garnier has testified that Campbell, an off-duty Truro, N.S., police officer, died on Sept. 11, 2015, after she asked him to slap, choke and dominate her at a Halifax apartment. He is on trial for second-degree murder and interfering with human remain. He has pleaded not guilty to both counts.​

The defence has argued that Campbell's death was accidental.

Christopher Garnier is on trial for second-degree murder. (Andrew Vaughan/Canadian Press)

Friday's witness said Campbell wanted to wrestle and practise moves on him following their second sexual encounter.

Defence lawyer Joel Pink said the man ended up with a lot of bruises after having sex with Campbell. The witness clarified, testifying he was bruised during the wrestling after sex.

The witness said he and Campbell knew each other, were sober and in her home when they had sex and wrestled. They were wearing everything but their shirts for most of the time they wrestled, he said.   

The last time the witness testified he saw Campbell was two weeks before she disappeared. He did exchange text messages with her, including the night she disappeared, when she invited him to come over. He didn't go.

Following the testimony, the defence announced it will not call any more witnesses. The Crown has decided it will not submit any rebuttal evidence — meaning the jury has heard all the evidence it will get in this case. 

The judge has told jurors that they will hear closing arguments from lawyers on Monday. 

The CBC's Blair Rhodes was live blogging from court. Mobile users can read the blog here

About the Author

Blair Rhodes


Blair Rhodes has been a journalist for more than 34 years, the last 25 with CBC. His primary focus is on stories of crime and public safety.