A now 18-year-old woman says “it felt like life or death” when she was allegedly held captive in an SUV and hit in the face during an attempted robbery in Saskatoon.
The woman, who was in Grade 10 at the time, testified a man she had never met repeatedly accused her of taking money. He told her to take off her bra because he thought she might be hiding something inside, and said “I don’t think you’ll be awake by tomorrow,” the woman told court.
She was the first to testify at the trial of Robert Caissie, Gary Cote and Christopher Cathcart, which began on Monday in Saskatoon Court of Queen’s Bench. The three men pleaded not guilty to unlawful confinement and attempted robbery.
The teen said the accused men were inside an SUV with her on Sept. 4, 2016. Cathcart was driving, Caissie was the aggressor and Cote appeared to be along for the ride, she testified.
She said she met Cathcart through her cousin and a group of them were “cruising” that night. When they stopped at a house to use the bathroom, the witness said a woman yelled at her about money and asked for her sweater. She said she didn’t have anything and was told to leave, court heard.
That’s when two men followed her to Cathcart’s vehicle and told her to get inside, asking “Where’s the money?” she testified. One man slapped her two or three times and put her friend in a chokehold when she tried to escape, she told court, adding she later learned that man was Caissie.
The woman testified she was relieved when police eventually pulled them over. The cruiser’s surveillance video shows the woman running toward police and waving her arms, followed by her cousin.
Moments later, another woman and three men separately emerge from the same SUV. The witness identified the men as the accused.
During a voir dire, Caissie’s lawyer Erin Little asked the woman if she made up the story so that she wouldn’t get in trouble for sneaking out that night. The woman said she didn’t lie to police or take anything from the house.
“I did nothing wrong that night,” she told Cathcart, who is representing himself.
The woman told court she voluntarily got into the vehicle because she was afraid of what would happen if she didn’t.
The trial is scheduled to last five days.
February 5th, 2018