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 — all of whom were under the influence of alcohol — identified McCarthy as the person who assaulted her outside McHugh’s Oct. 7.
Gorman concluded he is certain the assault — the pulling of Payne’s hair following a verbal dispute — 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 — none of whom knew McCarthy — 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.