‘I actually thought I was going to die’

Rosie
Rosie Mullaley
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Second woman emotional as she tells jury how RCMP officer Steven Blackmore forcefully choked her

A woman struggled to hold back tears as she testified how Steven Blackmore choked her so hard, she thought he would kill her.

Steven Blackmore. — Telegram file photo

“I was really scared,” she said Thursday during the second day of Blackmore’s jury trial at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John’s.

“I actually thought I was going to die.”

The woman is the second of two  who took the stand to tell how Blackmore, an RCMP officer, assaulted her. On Wednesday, a younger woman testified that Blackmore pushed her with such force, he drove her across the room.

Blackmore is charged with 10 counts, including six counts of assault, two counts of sexual assault and single counts of assault with a weapon (a knife) and careless use of a firearm.

A resident of Gander who was assigned to the Carmanville detachment, he was charged in June 2012.

The offences are said to have happened over a number of years in a number of communities, including Gander, George’s Brook, Wesleyville and Carbonear. Blackmore, 40, is not on active duty and was released shortly after his arrest.

The second woman’s allegations against Blackmore were more serious than the first woman’s.

She said Blackmore choked her several times.

“It was his favourite thing to do,” she said under direct questioning by Crown prosecutor Jeff Summers.

She was calm for most of her testimony, but got emotional when she spoke of one particular incident when, she said, Blackmore choked her with more force than usual.

“He grabbed me by the throat,” she said, pausing for a minute to regain her composure.

“I could feel the pressure in my head. I was trying to gasp for air. I really felt at that point I was going to pass out. I really felt my head was going to explode.

“I felt I was, you know, losing consciousness.”

She said when he saw the panicked look in her face, he suddenly stopped and walked away.

She said the incident broke blood vessels in her eyes and left her with a sore neck.

The woman said  that on another occasion, Blackmore grabbed her face and squeezed so hard, it left marks. He also grabbed her and threw her to the floor, she said, and, at another time, tried to smother her with a pillow.

Defence lawyer Bob Simmonds will cross-examine the woman today.

The trial length is set for four weeks. The jury is made up of seven men and five women, while Justice Robert Stack is on the bench.

 

rmullaley@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyCourt

Organizations: RCMP, Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court

Geographic location: Gander, Carbonear

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