Updated: Sun, 27 Nov 2011 01:37:50 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Ontarian acquitted in slashing coming home



Ontarian acquitted in slashing coming home

An Ontario man acquitted in Jamaica of slashing his wife's throat has told CBC News he is eager to get back to his children and his job as an elementary school teacher.

Paul Martin was accused of violently attacking Cathy Lee Clayson on the final day of a vacation in the Caribbean nation last December.

“After 11 months of this ordeal, I am relieved that the truth has finally come out,” said Martin, speaking to CBC News from the Montego Bay area on Saturday.

“I was unanimously found innocent of an offence I absolutely did not commit."

During the trial, Martin’s attempted-murder charge was reduced to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

A seven-person jury acquitted him on Tuesday.

Martin's lawyers persuaded the jury that Clayson was the aggressor and was wounded in a struggle that she started — a change from the original claim that she had been attacked by a carjacker.

The Jamaican Observer reported that Clayson admitted in court that it was her idea to lie about the robbery, and that Martin is a good father to their children. Still, Clayson maintains that her husband violently attacked her last year.

"The forensic expert did not support her story," Martin's lawyer, Jacqueline Samuels-Brown, told CBC News, adding that Clayson's claims were undermined by inconsistencies.

"She was found to have been departing from earlier statements she had made to the police."

Martin eager to return home

Martin spent four months in a Jamaican jail before being granted bail in April. Until now, he hasn't been allowed to leave the country.

Martin did not speak directly to reporters while case was making its way through the courts.

In his interview with CBC News on Saturday, he said he was not interested in rehashing the details of the case and said that he is eager to move on with his life when he returns to Canada in the coming week.

“The worst part of this is I’ve been away from my children for a year,” said Martin, who is the father of two children, 3 and 6. “That’s just been very painful.”

He said he hopes to return to St. Francis de Sales school, where he taught Grade 5.

“I’m looking forward to getting back in the lives of the kids and resuming my job,” he said. “I love the kids I teach.

The Durham Catholic District School Board refused to say whether Martin will be reinstated, saying only that he is still listed as an employee.

“I don’t even want to think of what happened. I look forward to moving forward and getting back into my life that I miss so dearly.”

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