Judge Refuses to Allow Rebuttal Evidence in Rev. Brent Hawkes Trial

Local Xpress
November 23, 2016

The Crown had wanted to bring forward witnesses who would say that Hawkes made alcohol available to students who visited his home, but says the defence seems to be suggesting that it was available.

Rev, Brent Hawkes leaves a Kentville provincial courtroom during a break in proceedings earlier in his trial. On Tuesday, the judge hearing the case denied the Crown's application to bring forward rebuttal evidence. (IAN FAIRCLOUGH / Local Xpress)

While he lost an application Tuesday to bring forward rebuttal evidence, the Crown attorney in the Brent Hawkes trial says he thinks he was able to get his point across because of admissions the defence made during the application.

Bob Morrison had been attempting to have two former West Kings District High School students testify that Hawkes, who is accused of indecent assault and gross indecency against a student at the school when he was a teacher there in the mid-1970s, made alcohol available to them when they were at his home for gatherings.

Hawkes had testified during his Kentville provincial court trial that he didn't want students driving home drunk and didn't give students alcohol, but added that didn't mean they didn't sneak some booze at events at his home that were attended by students and teachers. He said he only gave alcohol to teachers.

Testimony from at least one of three Crown witnesses indicated alcohol was drunk on the night of the alleged assault and that the alcohol came from Hawkes's supply.

“There is no evidence before this court that there was service of alcohol by Mr. Hawkes to young persons at his trailer,” defence lawyer Annamaria Enenajor said. “There is evidence, and it's not disputed by defence, that there was consumption of alcohol.”

Enenajor argued that Hawkes was only cross-examined on whether he served alcohol to students, not whether he made it available.

“That question wasn't put to Mr. Hawkes on cross, whether he made it available. He was asked whether he served it, and he responded 'no.' ”

She said it would be “unfair” to attempt to bring forward evidence to disprove a question that wasn't put to Hawkes on cross-examination.

Morrison told Tufts that he was surprised the defence was not disputing that alcohol was available.

Tufts ruled that the two witnesses could not be be brought forward to provide rebuttal evidence.

Outside court, Morrison said his intent was to have the witnesses provide evidence on whether alcohol had been consumed at Hawkes's home by students other than the three who had already testified.

“At the end of the day, the defence suggested that they didn't disagree with the evidence on that point, so there was no need to hear from these witnesses,” he said. “It was a bit of a surprise, but that's how it worked out.”

Hawkes is accused of having forced oral sex with a teen on a night in the mid-1970s after the teen and two others showed up at his house.

The complainant testified that Hawkes suggested the students play strip caps after they had been drinking for some time. He said he was drunk and feeling odd, and Hawkes led him to a bedroom and sexually assaulted him there.

Two other witnesses, who were also students at the time, testified that they saw the complainant being led down the hallway.

The trial resumes Wednesday with the two sides presenting their closing arguments.








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