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

Latest Crime news

Friday, May 27, 2016
A man in his sixties stabbed in the face 'with a pair of scissors' this morning (Picture: Getty)

Scotland Yard say they have arrested someone after a man was viciously stabbed in the face with a pair of scissors in west London.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Michael Purcell has been jailed for life

A Cricklewood steelworker who murdered his lesbian flatmate showed his hatred of her sexuality by mutilating her genitals it has been revealed today.

Friday, May 27, 2016
Police said men fired shots at a car in Armitage Road in Greenwich (Picture: Street View)

A young man was rushed to hospital last night after he was shot at ‘while in his car’ on a Greenwich street, Scotland Yard said.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
Armed police will patrol Brent

Armed police will be patrolling the streets of Brent following an increase in shootings in the borough.

Thursday, May 26, 2016
The mystery girl was found wandering in  the evening in Daleham Gardens

Police are trying to trace an 11-year-old girl who was discovered wandering in the street in her pyjamas saying she had run away from home.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Operation Viper will see more armed police on London's streets  (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Armed police patrols will target gun crime hotspots across the capital after a rise in the number of shootings, as Scotland Yard says there are more guns on the streets.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Read more
Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport