Family of slashed Ajax woman slams Ottawa for inaction

Relatives of a 34-year-old Ajax woman who was a victim of a knife attack in Jamaica are slamming the Canadian government for a “lack of … support.”

“She did not receive any guidance or direction during this nightmare,” said Domenic Iervasi, her brother-in-law.

Cathy-Lee Martin, a Royal Bank manager in Whitby, gave a tearful testimony in court last Tuesday in Jamaica saying that her husband attacked her on Dec. 23 for reportedly having an affair with another man.

It is alleged that Paul Martin, a 43-year-old elementary teacher at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Ajax, slit his wife’s throat twice and attempted to strangle her in a secluded area off a main road near Falmouth, Jamaica.

She denied any extramarital affair and jumped out of the car.

A pickup truck driver reportedly chased the husband while a cab driver raced to her aid, driving her to a local hospital for surgery.

Martin was denied bail and is now in Jamaican prison until Jan. 21 when he will face attempted murder charges.

“We are all hurting but we are strong and united,” Iervasi said in a statement issued on behalf of Cathy-Lee Martin. “Unfortunately, it has also impacted the community: friends, neighbours, students, colleagues and many people who knew them. It is devastating to us all.”

The statement thanked Jamaican authorities, the Jamaican Tourism Board and local citizens for their assistance.

Priya Sinha, a spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, confirmed that there was “an incident involving two Canadian citizens in Jamaica.”

“Consular officials in Jamaica have been providing consular assistance in this case from the beginning,” said Sinha.

“In cases of criminal activity where Canadians are affected, including physical assault, Canadian consular officials” will help those involved find counsel or contact family members.

Consular officials in Jamaica are also working with local authorities to get more information, she added.

However, the family insists that “there was a lack of Canadian government support.”

“It was extremely challenging for the family and added to the crisis,” said Iervasi.

The statement did not elaborate on the shortcomings. When contacted by the Star Saturday night, Iervasi refused to comment further.

Cathy-Lee Martin and Paul Martin have been married for over six years and have two toddlers, ages 2 and 5.

Iervasi said his sister-in-law and the children are doing well at home as she recovers from her injuries under the supervision of a doctor.

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