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Saturday, January 16, 2010

N.B. teen says she killed senior because of abuse

1-16-2010 Canada:

SAINT JOHN - Four women will testify that they were assaulted sexually by Frank Tonge when they were little girls, defence lawyer David Lutz told a jury in his opening statement of a murder trial yesterday.

"One occasion involved a broomstick. On another occasion, an animal," Lutz said in court.

"Frank Tonge is dead because on the day he died, he attempted to rape his last little girl."

Lutz represents a 16-year-old girl who is on trial for first-degree murder in the death of 78-year-old Tonge, who died in his Saint John home last June.

The girl can't be identified because of age provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

The Crown closed its case yesterday -- the third day of the Court of Queen's Bench trial.

Prosecutors had earlier played a videotaped questioning of the accused by police, during which she said she stabbed Tonge in the neck and ran because she was scared and "fed up" with being fondled.

Lutz maintains the accused, who was 15 at the time, was defending herself.

"Frank Tonge was pulling this 15-year-old, to whom he had given drugs and alcohol for some time, into his bedroom."

Lutz said if the jurors believe what the accused told police, they would know she was addicted to drugs and kept going to Tonge's home because he gave them to her and, in exchange, fondled her.

Lutz said the teenage girl had done crack, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and Dilaudid, and had taken drugs intravenously.

"Who helped her down that drug path?" Lutz said to the court. "Frank Tonge."

Lutz said two of Tonge's alleged victims, who will testify, had previously complained to the RCMP that Tonge had sexually assaulted them. He said two other witnesses called him after reading about Tonge's death in the newspaper.

The jury heard testimony yesterday from a 14-year-old friend of the accused, who said the accused talked about killing the elderly man.

She said she went to the accused girl's home and they packed two bags, one with a knife they got from a block in the kitchen, gloves and a belt. She said they walked to Tonge's home and she waited in the bushes while the accused went inside.

Under cross-examination by Lutz, the 14-year-old witness said she knew Tonge was a "bad man" when she went to his home that day. The girl testified that she knew Tonge supplied drugs to her friend and kissed and touched her inappropriately. ..Source.. by Times & Transcript

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