NEWS

Ashiqur Rahman Trial: Father Accused In Halifax Baby Death Lied About Money Worries, Court Hears

01/04/2012 11:34 EST | Updated 01/06/2012 01:29 EST
CP File
HALIFAX - A man charged in the death of his baby daughter told the girl's mother to "burn in hellfire" in an email that the Crown said Wednesday contradicts his testimony he never verbally abused her.

Ashiqur Rahman has pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault in the July 27, 2009, death of seven-week-old Aurora Breakthrough.

During his second day of testimony, Rahman was asked by Crown lawyer Mark Heerema about an email exchange he had with Jane Gomes on July 23, 2008. The emails were sent after the couple moved in together while they were studying computer science at Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S.

In one email, Gomes asks Rahman if he wants her to return from Halifax. Rahman testified Gomes had left their apartment after she had an argument with her family in Bangladesh.

"Why do you want me to come back baby, when you actually don't need me at all?" Gomes wrote in the email. "You already are starting to hate me, feel it."

"Feel it more ..." Rahman replied, in an email that also used the term b----. "You will burn in hellfire on Earth."

Rahman, 26, told the Nova Scotia Supreme Court he could not remember writing that, suggesting it was possible somebody "compromised" his computer.

He previously testified that he never physically or verbally abused Gomes.

Earlier in the day, Hereema accused Rahman of lying when he testified he wasn't anxious about money in the months before Aurora was born.

Rahman had said he had no worries about the couple's finances, even though his business did not generate any income, because he knew his parents would support him. He said his father, a colonel in the Bangladesh army's medical corps, was a wealthy man.

"What you are doing is you're trying to represent ... that you were financially without worry at the end of July (2009) and you are lying about that," said Heerema.

"Isn't that true? ... Because you often lie about your finances."

Rahman denied the accusation.

Gomes has testified that Rahman was worried about bills after Aurora was born, saying they had argued about a hospital bill just before Rahman struck the child.

Gomes told the court last month that Rahman lost his temper and hit the child when Aurora awoke and started to cry during the argument over the bill.

She also said Rahman appeared worried about money on the same day they came home from the hospital in June 2009, adding that he grabbed and pulled her hair during an argument.

Rahman has denied all of her allegations and said there was no argument about a hospital bill because they both understood that the provincial health care system would cover it.

Gomes pleaded guilty last year for failing to provide the necessities of life and received a conditional discharge with six months of probation. She agreed to testify at Rahman's trial as part of an agreement with the Crown.

The trial has heard a neuropathologist testify that Aurora had tears that left gaps in her brain tissue that occurred more than two weeks before her death.

The case continues Thursday.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version incorrectly spelled the name of the Crown lawyer.