Cold Water Cowboys’ Morris Anstey pleads guilty to assault charge

Sexual assault charged dropped in Gander Provincial Court

Published on February 13, 2017

David Bright (left) spoke with his client Morris Anstey of Summerford who appeared in provincial court in Gander today, Feb. 13, to face one charge of sexual assault and one charge of assault. Anstey is the captain of the fishing vessel Sebastian Sails and appears on the popular reality show “Cold Water Cowboys” on the Discovery channel.

©Christy Janes/TC Media

Morris Anstey was back in Gander Provincial Court today to face one charge of sexual assault and another charge of assault.

Anstey, who made his first appearance in court on Aug. 16, 2016 on the charges, pleaded guilty to one count of assault dating back to Aug. 13, 2016.

The Crown brought no evidence forward for the sexual assault charge.

Anstey, who appears on the popular reality show “Cold Water Cowboys” on the Discovery Channel, was sentenced to 12-months probation with statutory conditions and must not have any direct or indirect contact with the victim. Anstey, a resident of Summerford, also has 30 days to pay a $1,500 fine.

David Bright, Anstey’s lawyer, spoke with TC Media following the court appearance.

“I’m pleased with how things went today for two reasons,” Bright said. “One, because it was Mr. Anstey’s opportunity to give his side of the story and express his apologies to the lady involved, and also the opportunity to speak with the Crown and ascertain to what they were saying.”

Bright was pleased that the decision on the sexual assault charge.

“The Crown acknowledged it by agreeing that the matter be the subject of no evidence and we could deal with the common assault.”

From Bright’s point of view in reviewing it, it looked like what Bright referred to as the essential elements were perhaps missing.

“Certainly there was enough for the police to investigate and for the Crown to move ahead, but when you start getting down to the trial process and everyone really concentrates on the case it appeared that the Crown may have had significant difficulty proving it,” Bright said. “So it turned out to be the reasonable thing to do between Crown and defense.”

Crown prosecutor Lisa Smith said, “The Crown’s role in any case is to enter plea negotiations with the defense counsel. Therefore, count one (sexual assault charge), we called no evidence, and that was a result of the negotiations between the Crown and Mr. Bright.”