January 18th, 2021

‘Excessive and painful:’ Gynecologist describes trauma of woman dead in hotel


By Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press on January 14, 2021.

The hotel room at the Yellowhead Inn in Edmonton where Cindy Gladue's body was found in June 2011 is shown in this police handout photo entered as court evidence. Ontario truck driver Bradley Barton is on trial charged with manslaughter. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Edmonton Police Service, Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta

EDMONTON – A gynecologist says an excessive and painful amount of force caused a woman to bleed to death in a bathtub at an Edmonton hotel a decade ago.

Dr. Erin Bader, who works at Edmonton’s Royal Alexandra Hospital, was called by Crown prosecutors to provide an expert opinion about the trauma suffered by Cindy Gladue, a 36-year-old Metis and Cree mother who died at the Yellowhead Inn in 2011.

Bradley Barton, a 52-year-old Ontario truck driver, is accused of manslaughter in Gladue’s death.

A medical examiner told the jury earlier this week that Gladue died of blood loss from a wound in her vagina.

GRAPHIC WARNING: The following details may disturb some readers.

Bader told the jury that an excessive force could have not only caused the 11-centimetre tear in Galdue’s vaginal wall, but also could have broken a significant blood vessel causing a large blood loss.

“It was not a typical amount of force,” Bader told prosecutor Julie Snowdon.

“It was not even slightly more than typical force. It was a more excessive amount of force that caused tearing right through the vaginal wall and disruption of this vessel.

“The amount of bleeding implies to me that one of the bigger blood vessels that lie outside the vagina was disrupted.”

Bader pointed out to the jury that the tear caused internal bleeding that extended beyond Gladue’s ovaries.

“And can you give us any indication of how painful that would be?” asked Snowdon.

“Pain is a tricky thing, because a lot of things modify our perception of pain. But given the length, as well as the depth, I would expect that (injury) to be painful,” Bader responded.

During cross-examination, Barton’s lawyer, Dino Bottos, asked about any similarities between the tear Gladue suffered and tears women may experience giving birth.

Bader said Gladue’s injury was different in both direction and location.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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