Ajax teacher held in Jamaica attack ‘traumatized’

The Catholic school teacher accused of trying to kill his wife while on a Caribbean vacation sits in a Jamaican police holding cell “traumatized by everything,” his lawyer says.

Paul Martin, 43, who teaches Grades 5 and 6 at St. Francis de Sales school in Ajax, is facing attempted-murder charges, accused of slashing his wife’s throat and trying to strangle her while driving along an isolated coastal road near the resort area of Montego Bay.

Cathy-Lee Martin, a 34-year-old bank manager, reportedly jumped out of the car and was rescued by a passing motorist.

Martin believes his wife was having an affair and was trying to use the vacation as a springboard to renew their relationship, lawyer Ernest Smith told the Star.

The couple had gone through “stormy seas,” as many couples do, Smith said, and the vacation was an attempt to stabilize their relationship.

His wife, who underwent surgery, testified at a preliminary court hearing in Jamaica on Tuesday that her husband twice slit her throat and choked her before accusing her of having an affair. Wearing a thick bandage around her neck, Cathy-Lee Martin denied having an affair but admitted the couple was having marital problems.

A report published in Toronto on Thursday says the woman had grown unhappy in her six-year marriage and was staying with her husband for the sake of their young children, aged 2 and 5.

An unidentified person called Martin “a possessive, insecure, jealous” person.

Paul Martin was denied bail this week, while his wife was escorted home by family.

“Cathy is doing well, she’s with the kids and they’re sticking close together,” said sister-in-law Kim Clayson, who added that Cathy-Lee Martin has said very little about the attack. “She’s not ready to talk about it.”

Clayson refused to discuss the allegations or speculate on any marital problems the couple may have had. “The less said about Paul, the better.”

Another Clayson relative, who did not want her name used, called the attack and the allegations “a big nightmare . . . that has shocked the entire family.”

“Thank God she survived,” the relative said, “or we would have been consoling him.”

In the small Jamaican jail where Martin is detained, he has no access to a telephone or the Internet. Through his lawyer, however, he has been in contact with at least some of his four brothers. One of them is Liberal MP Keith Martin of British Columbia, who was in India speaking at a medical conference earlier this month. The politician’s current whereabouts is not known and he could not be reached for comment.

The attack happened on Dec. 23, as the couple was supposed to drive to the airport to catch their flight home.

Instead, Martin allegedly drove in the opposite direction of the airport, saying he wanted to take some pictures. Police and Cathy-Lee Martin, in her testimony, alleged that he then attacked her.

A taxi driver noticed a struggle in the car, went to call police, and came back to find Martin’s wife at the side of the road after escaping the car.

Court heard the cabbie drove her to a hospital, while her husband came to the police station later to claim that a carjacker had stabbed his wife.

Martin’s wife, however, fingered her husband.

“The (cab) driver showed a quick response,” Det. Sgt. Pheonia Watson of the Jamaica Constabulary Force told the Star. “He assisted in saving her life.”

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