By Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
WINNIPEG — A Crown prosecutor says a female Winnipeg police officer’s testimony that a male colleague pointed a shotgun at her on two occasions is consistent and credible, but his defence lawyer calls the claim outrageous.
Leroy Gold is on trial on charges of pointing a firearm and uttering threats stemming from two alleged encounters with Const. Danielle Prefontaine in 2016.
“At no time did I point a firearm at Danielle or anyone else,” Gold, 42, testified on Thursday.
Gold said had worked regularly with Prefontaine years earlier and thought they had a good working relationship.
He recalled making a joke to her in 2016 while holding a shotgun, but said he kept it by his side.
“It’s not a toy, it’s a weapon,” Gold said.
Prefontaine, a 14-year member of the force, told court Wednesday that in May of 2016 she was in a parking garage at police headquarters after a night shift when Gold pointed the gun at her groin and said, “Boom, right in the crotch.”
Six months later, she said, she was in a room at police headquarters, seated next to her partner and writing up a report about items recovered in a break-and-enter investigation.
She leaned back in her chair to stretch, she said, and Gold came into the room, put a shotgun into her rib cage and said, “I know what you need.”
She reported both incidents to superiors soon after and the professional standards unit investigated.
Gold, who said he spent 16 years on the force, was put on unpaid administrative leave and charged in July 2017. He was dismissed from the force that September.
Defence lawyer Richard Wolson told court both encounters happened when a lot of other officers were around and questioned how no one could have witnessed it or heard the two speak.
“Shift change is a pretty busy time,” he said.
During closing arguments, Wolson said Prefontaine’s account of what happened changed when she talked to different people and there was never a proper investigation.
He said allegations that a police officer, trained to use a weapon and aware he was being recorded on security cameras, would threaten a colleague are “outrageous.”
He also suggested Gold made a joke about his colleague filing overtime and she got angry.
The judge reserved his decision until June.
Crown attorney Kameron Hutchinson, who was brought in from The Pas to avoid conflict issues, said in her closing address that Prefontaine’s complaints about Gold to her partner, superiors and investigators remained largely the same.
Prefontaine’s partner, Const. Maxime Desjardins, testified he did not see either exchange, but noticed a stark difference in Prefontaine after the times in question.
“She looked crushed,” he said. “She looked really disappointed and really hurt.”