A Montrealer accused of stabbing her partner was living in a “toxic” relationship and claimed to be a victim of domestic violence, it was revealed Monday at the start of her trial.
“I am a victim of domestic violence, it was I who stabbed him, the knife is inside the apartment”, Sabrina Rose Dufour reportedly told a police officer just after the homicide of Philip Lloyd Celian, in February 2019.
The statement was first revealed publicly on Monday, as the 28-year-old accused’s jury trial began at the Montreal courthouse.
And according to the opening statement of the Crown attorney, Mr.e Jasmine Guillaume, this is a complex case where jurors should not be fooled by appearances.
“This is an emotional dossier on a difficult subject,” she told jurors.
According to the evidence to be presented by the prosecution, the accused and the victim were in a toxic relationship, “marked by jealousy and violence, both verbal and physical.”
At the time of the homicide, the accused was residing in a residential center for victims of domestic violence. The victim, for her part, lived in a small 2 1⁄2 with her mother, who considered Sabrina Rose Dufour as her daughter.
“Despite the insults exchanged on both sides, a separation, the involvement of several interveners in domestic violence, Mr. Celian and Mme Dufour kept contact and continued their devastating relationship, ”explained Me Guillaume.
The day before the homicide, the accused had left the center, despite the advice of a worker, to go to her husband’s house. During the visit, the 24-year-old allegedly beat her, according to what Mr. Celian’s mother is expected to testify in court in the coming days.
“The next morning they were seen shopping at a convenience store,” Crown said.
Hours later, the accused allegedly committed the irreparable in circumstances that were not told in court.
Mme Dufour, who allegedly confessed to a police officer immediately after, was arrested on the spot. However, she was released on bail, so she is following the hearings on the loose.
The manslaughter trial, scheduled for several weeks, is chaired by Judge Hélène Di Salvo.
►Sabrina Rose Dufour is represented by criminal lawyer François Taddeo. It is not yet clear whether she will present a defense and whether she will testify.