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Fined for assault

Tara Kearsey
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Aug 07/02) - A Dettah man has been fined $400 for assaulting a woman but acquitted on two other criminal charges.

Chief Judge Robert Halifax found Lawrence Lafferty not guilty of uttering death threats and unlawful storage of a firearm.

In territorial court Friday, the victim testified Lafferty dragged her around by the hair and threatened to shoot her. According to the woman, she was assaulted by the accused in her home after she returned from Yellowknife during the early morning hours of June 4.

"Both of us, we started yelling at each other and it just got physical. I don't even remember what happened. All I remember is him pulling my hair and I just lost it," the victim told the court.

In her statement to police after the attack, the woman claimed Lafferty threatened to shoot her after he assaulted her.

But when she testified in court she claimed she might have misunderstood him. The victim admitted she and Lafferty had been drinking four days in a row when the incident occurred.

"He said 'I'm going to get the gun and shoot you.' I guess I took it the wrong way.

"He might have meant something else but I was scared so I might have taken it the wrong way," she said.

But during cross examination by lawyer Graham Watt, the victim said "I was scared for my life."

The court also heard Lafferty had several bruises on his arm as a result of the incident. The woman claimed she may have bitten him while defending herself.