Gemma McCluskie murder trial: Brother Tony “perfectly in control”, court hears

15:43 24 January 2013

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Tony McCluskie in the dock at the Old Bailey. Picture: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

Court artist sketch by Elizabeth Cook of Tony McCluskie in the dock at the Old Bailey. Picture: Elizabeth Cook/PA Wire

The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie, standing trial for her murder, was “perfectly in control” when he killed her and hacked her body to pieces, a court heard today (Thurs).

Window cleaner Tony McCluskie, 35, claims he has no memory of butchering the 29-year-old barmaid at their home in Pelter Street, Bethnal Green, and dumping her body in the Regent's Canal.

But the Old Bailey was told he knew exactly what he was doing - and that the fatal attack may have been worse than the available evidence suggests.

In his closing speech to jurors, prosecutor Crispin Aylett, QC said McCluskie was "feigning" his amnesia.

"Is it because the truth is at least as bad, if not worse, than is apparent from the evidence that is available?' he asked.

"In the process of dismembering the body and dumping it in the canal the defendant set to put the evidence of what he had done beyond the remit of you, the jury."

A pathologist has told the court McCluskie may have killed Gemma with at least two blows from a blunt instrument using 'severe force.'

He claims she may have fallen over in the bathroom during a struggle and hit her head on the sink, but Mr Aylett asked why McCluskie did not call an ambulance.

"If he hit her twice over the back of the head with a blunt instrument there really is no getting away from that what he did next was designed to conceal not only that he had killed Gemma but also how he had done it," he said.

"And so over the next 36 hours we see the defendant set to work at his grisly task.

"He was, you may think, perfectly in control of himself."

Tony sent cheerful text messages to Gemma as he went about cutting her body up with a knife and a meat cleaver pretending that he believed she was still alive, the court heard.

"It was an attempt to cover his tracks," Mr Aylett said.

Tony attacked Gemma when they had a furious row after he allowed a sink to overflow at the family home, the court has heard.

On the night of March 2 last year he was caught on CCTV taking the remains in a suitcase to dump in the Regent's Canal in Hackney in two separate trips.

Over the next few days he posed for a picture for a newspaper with an appeal poster during the search for Gemma.

On March 6 the torso was discovered floating in the Regent's Canal by a barge owner.

Tony McCluskie admits manslaughter but denies murder on the grounds that he lost control when he killed her.

 

The trial continues.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Friday, February 5, 2016
Nemash Patel photographed the police cordon

Thousands of commuters were evacuated from one of the city’s biggest train stations today, as a suspected World War Two bomb was found on a building site near Victoria.

Friday, February 5, 2016
George Verrier was punched when he tried to calm down a fight. He hit his head on the pavement and later died (Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

)

Two Metropolitan police officers have been dismissed for gross misconduct after the death of 17-year-old George Villiers who was punched at a party in Bromley.

Thursday, February 4, 2016
They hit him with his own cane (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Police are hunting for two men responsible for a sickening attack the Grahame Park estate in Colindale.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Franklyn Mathurin pleaded guilty to the burglary (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

A man who stole a laptop full of family photographs of a young boy as his father was burying him has been caught and jailed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
A man was stabbed in Plaistow Park on Friday

A murder inquiry is underway after a man who was knifed in a fight in Newham died in hospital yesterday.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Harjit Singh Dulai was stabbed to death last Wednesday (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

A boy aged just 16 has been charged with the murder of Harjit Singh Dulai, an Uxbridge man who was stabbed to death on Wednesday January 27.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport