Jane Currie and Anji Dimitriou, the Oshawa lesbian couple who were allegedly attacked by Mark Scott in 2008, will have to wait a little longer for “closure.”
The trial against Scott, who pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault causing bodily harm, was to wrap up on Oct 30 after three days of testimony. But lawyers on both sides agreed the trial would be extended, likely into the new year, because time ran out before all the witnesses could testify.
“We were really hoping for closure,” Currie told Xtra over the phone after the trial’s third day. “I had to relive [the attack] this week. I was mortified to take the stand. I had never done anything like that before. In fact, it was even harder to relive it than to have to live through it the first time. And now again, we will have to live through this again through another set of hearings. This is extremely emotional.”
Making matters worse for the couple is that they have been forbidden to discuss the case with friends, families, reporters and even each other. That’s made even more difficult because Currie and Dimitriou were not allowed in the courtroom while the other was on the stand. When Dimitriou testified, Currie was sequestered in a small room down the hall from the courtroom; when Currie took the stand, Dimitriou was down the hall.
“Many of the witnesses are people in our community, so if we run into any of them at Walmart, we can’t talk to them,” says Currie. “We had friends in the courtroom who are supporting us but we can’t talk to them about anything that happened. It’s frustrating.”
It’s no wonder that the trial has become a community affair. After all, the alleged attack happened in the parking lot of Oshawa’s Gordon B Attersley Public School, where the children of both the couple and Scott attended.
It happened on the afternoon of Nov 3, 2008. Angry that one of the women may have spoken to his son, the six-foot-two Scott approached the foot-shorter Dimitriou asking, “Which one of you fucking men talked to my kid?”
Dimitriou, who was putting her six-year-old son’s backpack into her truck, responded, “Who you calling a man?”
Scott shot back with, “Fucking dyke bitch.” He then allegedly spit in Dimitriou’s face before punching her in the head twice so hard that she fell back against the truck bleeding.
Currie, who had been sitting in the truck, came out to intervene, but Scott allegedly punched her with the same force. Both women were left bleeding while their son, other parents and children looked on. The couple’s other two children arrived a few minutes later to find their mothers bleeding profusely.
Currie and Dimitriou are forbidden from discussing what was said in court. But Canwest News Service reported that defence lawyer Mark Jacula claimed Dimitriou waited outside her truck for Scott, anticipating a confrontation, and punched Scott in the jaw, breaking his glasses and scarring his forehead.
Dimitriou denies attacking Scott.
Both women reportedly testified that the 2008 attack was not the first time they had a run-in with Scott. They testified that Scott had a history of blocking the handicap parking space that Dimitriou used to pick up her children. (She was on disability due to a previous car accident.)
In an attempt to turn the hate motive around, Scott’s lawyer told the court that witnesses heard Dimitriou call Scott a nigger when he wouldn’t move his car. Scott’s lawyer also said Dimitriou has a history of using the slur in other confrontations with neighbours.
Dimitriou denied she ever uses the word nigger.
Although the couple and Scott exchanged words in the past, Currie and Dimitriou testified that they don’t know what motivated the alleged attack.
Whether or not Currie spoke to Scott’s son immediately before the alleged attack became an issue in court, according to Newsdurhamregion.com. Currie told the court she talked to school officials about how Scott’s son made her child arrive late for class but did not speak with his son directly. Scott’s lawyer, however, produced a letter from prosecutors stating that Currie told them she did speak directly to the boy minutes before the attack. Currie said she doesn’t remember telling that to prosecutors.
The Crown’s case, led by prosecutor Paul Murray, wrapped up on Oct 30, but the defence case — including Scott’s testimony — has yet to rest.
The trial, before Ontario Court Justice Katrina Mulligan, will likely resume in January.