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Sexual masochism expert takes stand at murder trial in death of off-duty cop

HALIFAX — A psychiatrist who is an expert in sexual masochism says Christopher Garnier’s version of events about the night Catherine Campbell died amounted to him facilitating Erotic Asphyxiation for the off-duty police officer.

Dr. Stephen Hucker was qualified as an expert witness in Nova Scotia Supreme Court Wednesday, allowing him to give opinion evidence at Garnier’s murder trial.

Hucker said he was asked by the defence to prepare a report and answer questions about erotic asphyxiation, its potential risks, and whether PTSD could prevent someone from remembering details of disposing of a body.

He told the jury that Garnier’s actions, as he described them, amounted to Facilitating Erotic Asphyxiation for Campbell.

He said harm can be caused during erotic asphyxiation, and that it is possible a person would not give warnings before becoming unconscious during erotic asphyxiation because it can happen “within seconds.”

The Crown alleges Garnier punched and strangled the 36-year-old Truro, N.S., police constable after they met at a Halifax bar, and used a compost bin to dispose of her body near Halifax’s Macdonald Bridge.

In his opening statement Monday, defence lawyer Joel Pink told the 14-member jury that Campbell died accidentally during “rough sex” that she initiated.

Garnier, 30, has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and interfering with a dead body.

The Canadian Press

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