Nova Scotia

Christopher Phillips chemical scare trial hears from wife

The wife of Christopher Phillips took the stand at his chemical scare trial in Halifax Thursday.

Dr Gosia Phillips says she wouldn't have gone to police had she known the result

Christopher Phillips was arrested in January in Ottawa after police say they found a large amount of chemicals in a cottage in Grand Desert, N.S. (Facebook)

The wife of Christopher Phillips took the stand at his chemical scare trial in Halifax Thursday.

The trial is entering its third day in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia and lawyers expect it to run longer than planned.

Dr Gosia Phillips has been married to Christopher Phillips since 2007 and they have three young children.

She told the court she did have concerns about her husband's mental health, but he never threatened anyone.

She was asked about an email her husband sent to a friend in late December of last year, in which he talked about building a box to hold osmium tetroxide, which could be thrown at police if they forced their way into a home.

"This email to me is nothing. I can't believe he is being charged because of this email," she said.

The email is a part of the reason for the charge of uttering threats against police

Phillips, 42, is accused of uttering threats against police and one count of possession of a dangerous weapon — osmium tetroxide. The chemical can be absorbed through skin and can be lethal.

Phillips has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Three properties raided

Crown attorney Karen Quigley said the case is just beginning.

"There is evidence still going before the court and it will be up to the court to assess the weight of all the evidence and how it fits together," she said. 

That email started a sequence of raids on three properties, which resulted in Christopher Phillip's arrest and subsequent charges.

Gosia Phillips refused to answer questions about any medications her husband was taking and what they were prescribed for.

She said he receives a $5,000 monthly cheque from the U.S. military, which considers him permanently disabled.

Threat to public safety

Gosia Phillips testified she was concerned their children might access osmium tetroxide so she contacted police on Jan. 19 so they could deal with the chemical. She forwarded emails her husband sent her while he was en route to Ottawa to police. 

But police told her they didn't do that. Her visit to RCMP started the investigation.

She says had she known that, she never would have approached them.

The couple has three children, aged five, three and fourteen months. They met in Boston in 2004 and married three years later.

She told the court Phillips wasn't happy that her mother planned to be at their daughter's birthday party in January. She testified he said he would go for a walk, but instead left a note saying he was going on vacation.

Earlier this week, an RCMP forensics expert testified officers found 510 different chemicals that could be used to make 11 different homemade explosives when they searched a property in Grand Desert, N.S.

Melanie Brochu, who works with the RCMP forensic lab in Ottawa, told the court many of the chemicals found stashed in the property had common uses and police didn't find any explosives.

An RCMP officer also testified Phillips was considered a threat to public safety when he was arrested in Ottawa on Jan. 21.


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