Toxic relationship leads to murder

A Montrealer accused of stabbing her partner to death was a battered woman who was living in the infernal cycle of domestic violence, she testified in her defense on Tuesday.

“It was always the same thing: things are bad, he apologizes, things are fine, then there is another episode of violence,” said Sabrina Rose Dufour on Tuesday at the Montreal courthouse.

Standing in the witness box, the 28-year-old woman accused of manslaughter recounted the toxic relationship she had with Philip Lloyd Celian before the latter’s death in February 2019. At that time, the accused lived in a women’s shelter when she went to Mr. Celian’s.

During this meeting, the latter would have hit her. Then the next day she allegedly killed him with a steak knife. She was arrested soon after, when she allegedly confessed everything to a police officer.

While the exact circumstances of the homicide are not yet known, Dufour spoke at length about her toxic relationship with the victim on Tuesday.

“I was very isolated, I was ashamed,” she said.

The accused thus described an event in a Montreal home the year before the homicide, where Mr. Celian allegedly started beating her over a trivial matter.

“He really smashed my face, like he was letting off steam on something,” she testified. The next day, he apologized by bringing me [une crème] for a face mask, that softened me up. Naively, I told myself that it wasn’t her fault, that it was because of the alcohol, that it was going to change. “

Except that nothing would have changed. In the months that followed, she said she was repeatedly beaten.

“As usual, I would go and hide in the bathroom to cry,” she said.

Cycle of violence

The couple then reportedly moved to east Montreal, but the bickering continued, despite some lulls.

“Several times I left,” she said, explaining that each time, she ended up accepting her partner’s apologies. The episodes of violence, there have been so many … It’s a cycle. “

The testimony continues this week at the Montreal courthouse, during which Dufour is expected to explain the exact circumstances of the homicide.

But from the start of the trial, Crown Attorney Jasmine Guillaume warned that we should not be “fooled by appearances” and that according to the prosecution, Dufour had indeed committed manslaughter.

The trial, before a jury, is chaired by judge Hélène Di Salvo. Lawyer François Taddeo is in charge of the defense.

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