Emotional teen testifies in Charlottetown assault trial

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on March 16, 2016


A female teenager charged with assault told a court she never intended to send a woman hurtling down a flight of stairs.

The teen, who turned 17 one day after the incident on June 10, 2015, is standing trial on one count of assault and one count of unlawfully causing bodily harm.

The accused, who cannot be identified, was emotional on the stand, at times sobbing.

She told the court she was striking a defensive posture when Patricia Greenan approached her and a friend in a threatening manner and grabbed her right arm.

"I guess my intentions were just to protect myself and my friend,'' the accused testified Wednesday in a trial before Provincial Court Judge John Douglas.

"I was scared and I was shocked.''

Under cross examination by the Crown, the teen admitted that she pushed Greenan "away from me...and she took a couple of steps backward and tried to catch herself on the railing'' before falling down the stairs.

Greenan told the court the fall resulted in a broken collarbone, a broken bone in her arm, swelling on the brain and the need for steel plates and screws in both shoulders.

Greenan's account of the incident is in stark contrast to the accused's version.

Greenan told the court she had come to her son Mark Greenan's home in Charlottetown looking to discuss repayment of money owed.

He was not home, but his brother, Shaun, who was his roommate, was there watching TV.

Two teenaged girls, including the accused, came to the door looking to pick up some items for a barbecue. Patricia Greenan asked the girls to leave.

They did but returned with Mark.

Patricia Greenan says she once again asked the girls to leave, touching the accused "lightly'' on the shoulder.

"I don't feel I threatened her,'' she testified.

"I just asked her politely to leave.''

She says the accused then placed her hands on both shoulders and flung her down the stairs.

"The push was strong enough...that I lost my balance right away,'' says Patricia Greenan.

Shaun Greenan, 37, testified that his mother wasn't angry, but she was upset and did raise her voice when asking the girls to leave.

Both girls testified that Patricia Greenan was far from calm when she asked the pair to leave and they told the woman they would not leave because they were in Mark's home.

"Her eyes were very, very wide and it scared me,'' said the teen who was with the accused.

"I was fearful — extremely fearful.''

Both girls testified that Patricia Greenan grabbed the accused in an aggressive manner.

A neighbour testified that the accused had a scratch on her neck and a hand imprint on her upper arm.

Under cross examination, the accused's mother told the court she was taking the stand to "support'' her daughter, then added she was there to tell the truth.

The witness testified that her daughter — the accused — was horrified by the incident.

"It took me a bit to calm her down,'' she told the court.

Douglas, who will hear closing statements on April 12, will also rule on the admissibility of the statement given to police by Mark Greenan, who has since died.