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 Stories from SNAP.PA

We look at the big names in the world of sport, music, fashion, TV and film that most influence these islands.

Read more

Paul Bettany has said playing an on-screen character in the latest Marvel film means working harder than when he was simply providing a voice.

Read more

Emmerdale’s Ryan Hawley thinks Robert Sugden’s feelings for Aaron Livesy are purely superficial.

Read more

Promoted content

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

[Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images]

It’s the new year and you’re looking forward to booking your summer holidays - but how do sunny getaways change when you’ve got children?

It’s easy to lose sight of how beautiful London is when you’re crammed into a commuter train. Let these flying Instagram users take you on a bird’s eye tour of London.

People have pretty good memories when it comes to the outstanding performance of a tub of lard on HIGNFY.

The UN ambassador unveiled IMPACT10X10X10, a new initiative to end gender inequality as part of the HeForShe campaign.

David Cameron and Tony Blair are among those paying tribute.

Quirky London