The Canadian Press
The Supreme Court of Canada says Ontario trucker Bradley Barton should be retried for manslaughter, but not murder, in the case of Cindy Gladue, who bled to death in the bathroom of his Edmonton motel room.
In a 4-3 decision today, the high court says evidence about sexual history was mishandled at the original trial that led to Barton’s acquittal on a charge of first-degree murder.
Barton acknowledged hiring Cindy Gladue for sex in 2011 and claimed the severe injury to her vaginal wall that caused her death was an accident during rough but consensual activity.
The Crown argued that Barton intentionally wounded Gladue and was guilty of first-degree murder or, at the very least, manslaughter, because the 36-year-old Metis woman did not consent to the activity.
Barton was found not guilty by a jury that repeatedly heard references to Gladue as a “prostitute” and a “native,” but the Alberta Court of Appeal set aside the acquittal and ordered a new trial for first-degree murder.
A majority of the Supreme Court says Barton’s new trial should be restricted to the offence of manslaughter, as the procedural errors at the original trial did not taint the jury’s finding on the question of murder.