Lyle Howe takes stand again at his sex assault trial

Halifax lawyer Lyle Howe is back on the stand today at his sexual assault trial.

Tuesday the jury reviewed phone records of the complainant from the night of March 20

Halifax lawyer Lyle Howe was back on the stand Tuesday at his sexual assault trial.

Howe, 29, has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault and administering a stupefying drug. The charges were laid after an alleged incident on March 20, 2011, involving a 19-year-old woman.

On Tuesday, the jury reviewed phone records of the complainant from the night of March 20.

The phone records showed the complainant did not send or receive texts or phone calls after 10:20 p.m. of that night.

The next text the complainant sent was the following morning at 8:50 a.m. when she texted Howe to complain about stolen money.

Howe took the stand in his own defence for the first time Monday. He testified what happened on the night in question was consensual.

Howe's wife sat in the front row of the courtroom for both days of his testimony. 

At the start of this trial, the complainant testified that she remembers nothing from the night she brought Howe and another man back to her apartment.  

She woke up the next morning sore and suspecting she'd been drugged.

Howe insists that the woman appeared fine that night and he did not believe she was drunk and saw no evidence she'd been drugged.

Howe's lawyer Mike Taylor said his client did well on the stand.

"I think it went basically as I expected it to go," he said Tuesday.

"Most relevant is Mr. Howe's evidence that this was a consensual situation.  And credibility, of course, comes into play in a significant way when it comes to those kinds of things," said Taylor.

Crown Prosecutor Darcy MacPherson agreed that consent is crucial.

"Sexual assault is one of the counts here. And there is now no question that sexual activity took place. So it becomes an offence only if there is a lack of consent. So that's got to be key," he said.

The Crown and defence will make their closing arguments Wednesday afternoon.

Chief Justice Joseph Kennedy will give his final instructions to the jury Friday morning.

Deliberations should begin Friday afternoon.