POLITICS

Patrick Brazeau Trial Resumes In Gatineau

06/19/2015 10:11 EDT | Updated 06/19/2016 05:59 EDT

GATINEAU, Que. - The primary witness in Patrick Brazeau's assault trial told the court Friday she feared for her life during an alleged fracas with the suspended senator two years ago.

But Brazeau's lawyer noted it was the first time she'd ever made the claim.

The female complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, broke into tears on the stand, making the confession after she spent more than five days under cross examination by Brazeau's attorney.

"I was afraid I was going to die," the prosecution's main witness said through an interpreter at the trial, which is being conducted entirely in French.

Brazeau, who is being tried by judge alone for assault and sexual assault, has pleaded not guilty to charges that arose from the alleged incident in February 2013.

Gerard Larocque quickly noted that the woman had never told the court, nor police that she feared for her life during the confrontation. The woman acknowledged she had never revealed this in previous statements.

Larocque also asked her why she stayed in the house if she was so frightened, particularly since she also testified that Brazeau had been telling her leave during the incident.

As Larocque pressed the witness, she started to cry and grabbed a tissue to wipe her eyes. The woman, who has struggled to recall specifics from the incident during questioning, said she couldn't remember everything.

"I'm sorry I'm trying to get into details, but what I went through is very difficult," she said, standing a couple of metres from Brazeau.

"It's difficult for me to be in front of my aggressor."

The complainant, who wrapped up her testimony Friday, has accused Brazeau of pushing her down stairs, choking her, smacking her head against a wall and a stair, spitting on her and sexually assaulting her.

Larocque has suggested she is an aggressive person prone to losing control.

Earlier in the trial, he alleged she was the instigator in the confrontation that led to Brazeau's arrest — alleging she smacked his client with her hand and a leopard-print bra.

Larocque has also accused the woman of striking Brazeau in February 2012. The woman has confirmed she and Brazeau met police following a 2012 incident, but has flatly denied hitting him.

The case, which began in March, returns to court June 30 when a video recording of Brazeau's police interrogation will be played for Quebec Justice Valmont Beaulieu.

Brazeau, who was expelled from the Conservative caucus shortly after his February 2013 arrest, is expected to testify in his own defence Sept. 15 and 16. Final arguments are set to take place Oct. 16.

On Friday, the court also heard testimony from two members of the Gatineau police force who responded to the woman's 911 calls shortly after 9 a.m., including the officer who arrested Brazeau.

Francis Carpentier said the woman met him at the door. He recalled that she was crying and trembling.

"The lady seemed to be in shock," he said.

Carpentier told the courtroom he caught a whiff of alcohol on Brazeau as he cuffed him and read him his rights on an assault charge.

"Mr. Brazeau was calm and quiet, he was collaborative," said Carpentier, who also described the moment later that morning when he informed the senator that a count of sexual assault had been added to his file.

"He put his head down, but he didn't say anything."

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