Testimony continues in Deborah Ashton perjury case

Testimony in trial of former Vernon teacher and administrator Deborah Louise Ashton continued in Vernon Supreme Court Wednesday.

Yes, the bracelet he received was a gift from his former teacher.

Whether or not it was a bracelet he received on his birthday is unclear.

Testimony into the perjury trial of former Vernon teacher and administrator Deborah Louise Ashton continued in Vernon Supreme Court Wednesday.

Ashton, 48, is charged with two counts of making false statements during her first trial in 2011 when she was charged with five counts stemming from an alleged sexual relationship with a former student, who can’t be identified because of a publication ban.

That first trial ended in a hung jury.

Ashton was re-tried in 2012 in front of a Supreme Court Justice alone, and was acquitted of all five counts.

One of the false statements Ashton is alleged to have made during the first trial involved a bracelet that the student said she gave to him.

Crown prosecutor Don Mann asked him if the bracelet was part of a number of gifts he received from Ashton for his 14th birthday.

“I was given a basket and it had an mP3 player, some chocolates, a silver necklace and a box that was wrapped up,” he said, admitting he was excited to receive the mP3 player.

“She handed me the brown basket and I don’t remember what she said, I just remember the mP3 player was on top of the basket.”

Asked if the basket was a birthday present, he said, “I’m not sure if I got it on my birthday. I’m leaning towards saying it was given to me on my birthday.”

The student said birthdays were not a big deal in his family home. He also agreed with Mann when asked if Ashton and her two children were frequent visitors to the family home.

Under cross examination, Ashton’s lawyer, G. Jack Harris, asked if the student had shown or talked about the bracelet to the police officer who first investigated his complaint, to school board officials, to lawyers or to officials during a preliminary inquiry interview.

“No,” said the complainant.

“In fact, you were told to bring the bracelet to the first trial and it was during your testimony that the bracelet came out, correct?” asked Harris.

“Yes,” he replied.

The other false statement Ashton is alleged to have made during her first trial was about picking up her child from a Vernon daycare operation.

The final day of testimony is expected today.