Revelstoke resident Ryan Luscombe was found guilty of two counts of assault, uttering threats of violence and forced confinement after his ex-girlfriend testified against him in court last week.
Luscombe was in court after being arrested in relation to two 2010 incidents during which he assaulted his ex-girlfriend, including one where he strangled her to the point where she almost passed out, the court heard.
The trial centred on the testimony of the girlfriend – the only person to take the stand. She said they met in August 2006 and described the relationship as a “rollercoaster” and “on-and-off” for it’s four year duration. It was filled with drugs and conflict and she said that he assaulted her “500 times” while they were going out. She said she made statements to the police several times but recanted each time. Only after a particularly violent incident on Sept. 15, 2010, did she finally go to the police for good.
The girlfriend testified regarding two incidents. The first took place on Jan. 15, 2010, when, after a brief argument in the morning, Luscombe grabbed her by the shoulders and banged her head against the wall several times. “My neck was flopping back and forth,” she told the court. “It hurt me very much.”
They stopped seeing each other for a month or two, she said, but ended up getting back together. The second incident took place on Sept. 11, 2010. At around 3 a.m. that morning Luscombe showed up to her apartment drunk and battered from a bar fight.
He asked her to “care for him and love him” she said, so he took her back to his apartment. He then disappeared into a friends apartment and left her waiting for close to an hour. Angry, she went home to go back to sleep.
A few hours later, at around 6 a.m., he came back to her place and banged on the door again, asking her to take care of him. This time she said no but he forced his way into the home; she threatened to call the RCMP.
Then, she said, “Mr. Luscombe grabbed me, turned me around and tackled me onto the bed.”
He put his hands around her throat so she couldn’t breathe. They struggled and she tried to run away but he tackled her and started strangling her again.
“He said, ‘That’s it, you’re going to die bitch. This is it,” she testified, tears rolling down her cheek. “I couldn’t cough, I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t kick.
“I started thinking of my family and friends and never seeing them again.”
Thankfully, Luscombe released him, but his girlfriend’s nightmare wasn’t over. He then grabbed her keys, cell phone and dog and forced her to go to his apartment.
At his apartment, she lay down next to him, hoping he would fall asleep and she could escape.
Eventually Luscombe let her leave with her keys and cell phone but he kept her dog to make sure she would come back. Fearing for her dog, she drove Luscombe to the hospital that afternoon. That night, still in shock, she went out for a friend’s birthday, trying to pretend things were okay. He sent her a text telling her to come to her place by 1 a.m. She ignored it but still went back to his apartment that night.
The next morning she woke up to go to work. She grabbed her dog and left just as he woke up.
“I kissed him, told him I loved him and I left with the intention of never seeing him again,” she said. She went to work and later gave her statement to the RCMP.
Defence lawyer Melissa Klages attempted to portray the victim as a serial liar who was with Luscombe voluntarily and was simply trying to punish her ex-boyfriend out of anger. Her tactics did not work and the girlfriend stayed consistent with her testimony.
Judge Mark Takahashi found Luscombe guilty on two counts of assault, one count of unlawful confinement and one count of uttering threats to cause violence. He ordered a pre-sentence report to be conducted and scheduled sentencing for Nov. 2.
This was not Luscombe’s first time in court. In 2007 he was sentenced to six months in jail for possession of stolen property. Last month, in Penticton Court, he was sentenced on two counts of breach of undertaking and for resisting a police officer. In August he was sentenced in Revelstoke court for breach of undertaking.