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Former Woodstock mayor denies any wrongdoing at sexual assault trial

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Testifying in his own defence, the former mayor of Woodstock took the stand Tuesday in a London, Ont. courtroom and denied that he sexually assaulted a woman he had been involved with.

Questioned by his lawyer James Battin, 49-year-old Trevor Birtch appeared calm while giving his side of the story at the sexual assault trial.

Birtch said he had been romantically involved with the female complainant but that he did nothing wrong. When talking about their relationship, he said that she was more aggressive and jealous.

Birtch said while on a road trip in the summer of 2021, the name “Michelle” appeared on his cellphone and that’s when everything changed, he testified, ”She went into a fit of rage, hitting me and punching the dash…she was having quite a bit of alcohol that day…she got out of the car and was stumbling.”

On another occasion when the complainant saw him dropping groceries off to the same woman, he said, “She punched my head, I had a black eye. She said, ‘I wouldn’t have to do that if you stayed away from that person.’”

As for the incident on Valentine’s Day when they were at a hotel and spa in London, Birtch said he was very tired that day after having worked and that it upset her again, “She grabbed me by the hair and pushed me out of bed…she was very upset because we didn’t have any romantic time together.”

Birtch told the court that their relationship came to a head in December of that year when she broke into his home after sending several text messages. He said, “I wasn’t looking at them I was trying to get some sleep…she was getting upset”

He said she then climbed onto his carport roof and got into his home, “I was startled awake when the door was busted open, she started yelling and I could tell she was under the influence of alcohol.”

Birtch is facing two counts of sexual assault and one count of assault. He has pleaded not guilty. The trial is expected to be wrapped up by the end of this week.

  

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