A Windsor bride had her groom arrested on their wedding day after he got drunk, lost their money, then allegedly choked her.
The woman marched into police headquarters in her wedding gown Sept. 9, 2008, complaining about the man she'd been with for nine years and married to for only hours. Police charged her new husband -- who was waiting in the car -- with assault and uttering threats.
Ontario court heard Thursday the two had a rocky relationship. Each accused the other of being violent in the past, the groom having been convicted of assault in 2001. They had two children together, who on the wedding day begged their parents to stop fighting.
The pair were married at an outdoor ceremony at the Peace Fountain on Windsor's waterfront. They and their wedding party then proceeded to Erie Street for dinner.
The groom had started the day with $500 in his breast pocket. When it came time to pay the dinner bill, the money was gone.
Asked by his lawyer, Ken Marley, what he did when he made the discovery, the man said, "I had another drink."
He could tell how angry and embarrassed the bride was as she waited in the car with the couple's two children.
The best man counselled the intoxicated groom to keep his mouth shut on the ride home so as not to further provoke the woman.
The groom testified his new wife began berating him as soon as he got in the car. He claims that as she drove down Erie Street, she punched him seven times. She kept one hand on the wheel, pounding him in the face with the other.
The woman says she never laid a hand on her new husband, but that he assaulted her, choking her as she was driving.
She announced to her children that "Daddy's going to jail," and drove directly to the police station.
When asked in court if he had a recollection of the events of the day independent of what he had written his report, the officer said, "Oh, yes.... She was wearing a wedding dress."
He charged the groom with assault and uttering threats. Police later added a charge of choking.
The groom said he told police he was glad to be arrested. "Anything to get away from her."
Ontario court Justice Guy DeMarco said, while he was more inclined to believe the bride's version of events, he had to acquit the groom because he couldn't be sure beyond a reasonable doubt what took place.
After the wedding, the bride commenced divorce proceedings. She maintains custody of the couple's children.
She said she is also seeking an annulment.
"It's not like we ever consummated it," she said of her marriage.