CORNER BROOK Although provincial court Judge Wayne Gorman says Stephanie McCarthy probably assaulted Meaghan Payne outside a Corner Brook bar in October, he acquitted her of the charge last week.
When the evidence presented in court only leads to a conclusion of probability, it fails to meet the standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, Gorman stated in his written decision.
Payne and two witnesses ‚ÄĒ all of whom were under the influence of alcohol ‚ÄĒ identified McCarthy as the person who assaulted her outside McHugh‚Äôs Oct. 7.
Gorman concluded he is certain the assault ‚ÄĒ the pulling of Payne‚Äôs hair following a verbal dispute ‚ÄĒ did happen. The incident was said to have occurred after someone struck Payne as she was leaving the bar by pushing her way through the crowd. But the three individuals ‚ÄĒ none of whom knew McCarthy ‚ÄĒ identified her as the person responsible via a Facebook profile and photograph.
Despite his belief of their honesty, Gorman determined Crown attorney Trina Simms did not prove it was indeed McCarthy beyond a reasonable doubt.