Gemma McCluskie trial: Brother to claim actress was ‘abusive and offensive’

14:21 21 January 2013

Gemma McCluskie. Picture: Metropolitan Police

Gemma McCluskie. Picture: Metropolitan Police

The brother of Gemma McCluskie will give evidence this afternoon in which he will claim the former EastEnders actress pulled a knife on him on the day he killed her.

Tony McCluskie, 35, will describe how his sister’s behaviour had become volatile and abusive towards him, before she brandished the weapon at him on March 1 last year.

Miss McCluskie’s torso was found in a suitcase in the Regent’s Canal in east London, followed by her limbs in plastic bags.

Her head was found six months later and she was officially identified by dental records.

The prosecution said pot-smoking McCluskie bludgeoned his sister to death in the flat they shared after a row about an overflowing sink.

Opening the defence case, McCluskie’s barrister, Jeremy Dein QC, told the jury this his client had a “long and committed work record”, despite long-standing use of Class B drugs, particularly skunk.

“The defendant will tell you that, from his point of view, as the fateful day, March 1, approached, he was becoming increasingly worn down by problems, losing sleep, losing weight, losing motivation and worried about losing his job and possibly, on that fateful day, even losing his self-control,” the barrister told the court.

“Abusive and offensive”

He said McCluskie was concerned about his “gravely ill” mother at that time, and had also separated from his long-term partner in early 2012, while also having problems at work.

“As the year turned from 2011 to 2012, Pauline (his mother) was taken back into hospital in early 2012 and Mr McCluskie himself felt more and more anxious and oppressed by these circumstances as winter turned to spring and March 1 dawned.”

He said that, although Miss McCluskie seemed charming and delightful, her brother would describe how she was different “behind closed doors”.

“Over a significant period of time behind these closed doors she was frequently abusive and offensive towards him, that she put him down and made him feel humiliated,” Mr Dein said, adding that McCluskie would say “that she used bad language and was critical of him”.

The barrister said the jury would hear how Miss McCluskie once burst into her neighbours’ family home, unhappy at the noise they were making, and threatened to have them stabbed.

Mr Dein said McCluskie would describe the immediate run-up to his sister’s death.

“He will tell you that he woke up feeling unwell, there was a row to do with these taps, he recalls Gemma taking up a knife and issuing threats.”

He said the defendant remembers grabbing his sister’s wrists, but then his mind is “blank”.

He told the court: “The essence of his testimony will be ‘I killed her, but I did not intend to kill her, I did not intend to seriously injure her, I could not have done so’.

“’If I did, I lost my control, the stress, the illness, the pain, the pressure, the abuse, that knife, but not murder’.

McCluskie admits killing 29-year-old Miss McCluskie, but denies murder.

He claims he has no memory of killing and dismembering his sister, and the Old Bailey heard today that he will adopt defences of lack of intent and loss of control. He will give evidence this afternoon.

Related articles

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, July 31, 2015
Thornton Way in Hampstead Garden Suburb

Two women were attacked and made hostages in their own home in a terrifying raid on their Hampstead Garden Suburb house.

Friday, July 31, 2015
One of the men can be seen with a shotgun

This is the terrifying moment a masked gang armed with a shotgun and crowbars broke into a house in Gidea Park – after pulling up in a Porsche.

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Police want to speak this woman after a child was kicked repeatedly (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Police are hunting for a woman who was seen hurting a young boy in a shop in Wood Green on Saturday February 28.

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Antisemitic crimes have more than doubled in London over the past year (Picture: Getty)

The number of antisemitic hate crimes - including assault, harassment and arson - has more than doubled in London in the space of a year.

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Sebastian Szerer, a senior employee at a hotel, raped a man who came for a job interview (Picture: Met Police)

The former head housekeeper has been jailed for ‘luring’ a man, 25, to a fake interview before raping him in the locked suite of a luxury Westminster hotel.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Walkers have been urged to report any suspicious activity in the area (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

People are being warned to be vigilant on Hackney Marshes after three women were stalked and hurt in what police believe were sexually-motivated attacks.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more