Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Ex testifies man accusing officer of assault was lying

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The ex-girlfriend of a man accusing a Winnipeg police officer of kicking and seriously wounding him says he admitted to her he was lying about who was responsible.

Linda Penner-Dyck, 56, dropped the bombshell after being called by Const. Ryan Law's defence team at the officer's ongoing aggravated assault trial.

Law's alleged victim, Henry Lavallee, admitted he was making up the claims as the two lay in bed some time ago at Penner's home, she testified.

"Henry started it off by asking me if I had seen him on TV, and I said, 'no, why?,'" Penner told court. "And he said, 'because he was suing the police — the cops.' He just kept talking — I didn't ask questions or anything … he said that officer Law didn't do anything, that he just blamed it on officer Law — and then he laughed about it," Penner said. It was an "evil little laugh," she added.

"He just thought it was a big joke," she said, adding she didn't take it seriously because Lavallee was "always into these money-making schemes," said Penner.

"I just thought it was another one of those things that would just fall apart and go away. But it hasn't. So I felt I needed to step up," she said.

Law, 30, was arrested in 2009 after an internal investigation that was sparked after Lavallee, now 49, was rushed to hospital from the Winnipeg Remand Centre hours after departing from police custody and ultimately underwent emergency surgery to repair a tear in his bowel in November 2008. He had been arrested as a suspect in a car break in.

Penner, who said she takes medications for bi-polar disorder, gave a statement to police on January 9 of this year — a couple of weeks after she called police to complain Lavallee had turned up on her doorstep and breached a no-contact order she has against him.

She also said she witnessed Lavallee being jumped outside the Manwin Hotel on Main Street and being "boot-stomped" prior to police arriving and taking him into custody.

"He told me officer Law was the first person he saw so he blamed it on him," said Penner.

She couldn't be firm about the date the incident outside the Manwin Hotel happened, but said shortly after the incident she visited him in hospital where he had had stomach surgery.

The trial continues.

james.turner@freepress.mb.ca

 

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