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Campbell River domestic violence cases fuelled by booze

Andrew Paul Jr. probably didn’t expect to wind up in the prisoner’s box after calling police to report an alleged assault by his former girlfriend.

But there he was on Monday afternoon, in Campbell River provincial court, sporting a purple shiner under his left eye.

The 36-year-old father of six sat quietly, with his shoulders slumped, as he faced yet another charge of breaching a court order.

“The reason he’s here…is it starts with him calling police to say he’s been assaulted by Emily Francis,” said defence lawyer Doug Marion, who added that his client also suffered a broken nose within the last two months.

The Paul matter was one of two cases heard that afternoon by Judge Thomas Dohm involving ongoing alcoholism and domestic violence.

The cases are “virtually identical” said Crown prosecutor Bruce Goddard as he asked for measures to protect the alleged victims.

“The only way to keep Ms. Francis safe is to keep Mr. Paul in custody,” said Goddard, who asked the judge to cancel Paul’s bail.

But Francis, 29, has her own violent history and is well-known to police. In July 2010, she was arrested after allegedly hitting her mother, Margaret Flanders, in the head with a vase. Investigators could actually see the imprint of the vase on Flanders’ head.

Police found Francis heavily intoxicated and arrested her for assault at which time she began yelling obscenities and calling the officers racists.

Later that month, she was arrested again for being under the influence of alcohol and allegedly stealing a six-pack of beer from a man.

When she appeared in court for the second set of offences, it was Judge Dohm who canceled Francis’ bail and ordered her detained.

Francis wasn’t in court on Monday when Paul appeared in the prisoner’s box before Judge Dohm.

Paul was originally charged with assault causing bodily harm and criminal harassment stemming from a Nov. 8, 2013, incident at the residence he apparently shared with Francis.

According to Goddard, the two were drinking and arguing when Paul allegedly began hitting and choking Francis. She fled the home, went to a friend’s and reported the incident to police the next day.

Paul was arrested a few days later, released on bail, but was arrested again Nov. 21, after police received an abandoned 911 call.

When there was no response at the residence, neighbours reported seeing a couple go inside, so police went in and found Paul and Francis together in bed.

He was arrested again for breaching court orders and released again after another bail order was granted.

But on Saturday night, police were called again after another incident involving the two. This time it is alleged that Paul assaulted Francis at Flanders’ home.

However, Paul claims he was assaulted by Francis and then went to a relative’s home to call police. When police arrived, they found Paul outside his residence and under the influence of alcohol, so he was arrested again for breaching his bail conditions.

Both Flanders and Francis were less than co-operative with police. Fancis was not arrested for assault, nor was she charged by the Crown.

Marion said his client has a defence in the case and asked for his release again on the same bail conditions. However, Judge Dohm upped the conditions, asking for a $1,000 cash deposit and the condition that Paul abstain from alcohol.

Paul is due back in court on Monday.

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