Former hostage Joshua Boyle — accused of assaulting his now-estranged wife, Caitlan Coleman — told his trial today that Coleman had stripped naked and was “worked up and acting inappropriately” the night he called 911.

Refuting Coleman’s version of events, Boyle testified that he never physically or sexually abused his wife and did not assault her on Dec. 30, 2017, the night of the 911 call and his subsequent arrest.

“She was not only naked but saying things that were not healthy for the children to be hearing,” Boyle testified. “She was worked up and acting inappropriately.”

Boyle is back on the stand for a second day of testimony. In a sudden move Wednesday, Boyle’s lawyers announced he would take the stand in his own defence.

Boyle is on trial for 17 charges — including assault with a weapon, sexual assault and forcible confinement — related to actions he’s accused of committing in late 2017 after he and Coleman were freed following nearly six years as captives of Taliban-linked extremists in Afghanistan. Two charges were dismissed because of the low likelihood of a conviction.

Boyle, 36, has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

‘She was again hyperventilating’

Asked whether he hit Coleman in the face or put his hand around her mouth that night, Boyle replied: “Most assuredly not.”

Boyle testified Coleman became “distressed” while he was putting the children to bed the night of Dec. 30.

“She was again hyperventilating. She was speaking rapidly. Naked,” Boyle testified. “I was sort of trying to get her out of the children’s room and go calm down.

“She was becoming frenzied. She was grabbing at me. She wasn’t hitting or anything. Very much animated.”

Boyle said he suspected that Coleman was worried about a divorce he’d told her he would be seeking.

“She was distressed about the divorce, indicating she was never going to get better … things are just going to keep getting worse … If I am going to leave her she’s going to kill herself,” he testified.

In April, Coleman testified that on the night of Dec. 30, she decided to escape their Ottawa apartment because Boyle had threatened to confine her to the couple’s bedroom. She described escaping years of alleged abuse in socks.

Read Caitlan Coleman’s account of the night she escaped

Joshua Boyle depicted testifying at his trial on Sept. 4, 2019. (Laurie Foster-MacLeod)

Boyle said Coleman left barefoot. He testified he thought she would knock on their neighbour’s door and eventually return home, but when she didn’t, he called police — dialling the non-emergency line first.

“I’m coming out of a hostage-taking. My standards of what constitutes an emergency is different,” he told court Wednesday.

Boyle’s defence wrapped up his questioning Thursday morning. The Crown has now started to cross-examine Boyle.

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