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

Thursday, May 28, 2015
If you know this man, please contact British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40, or text 61016, quoting T/B6 of 27/05/2015

Police want to speak to a “man in orange trousers” after a Southall man was headbutted so viciously in a rush hour altercation at Ealing Broadway that he had to be taken to hospital.

Thursday, May 28, 2015
Friends paid tribute Joe Walker at the spot where he was killed

A teenage boy has been given a 12-month-detention order for his part in the death of Joe Walker, a 17-year-old from Stroud Green who was killed in a road crash last October.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Former MP for Falkirk Joyce has been in trouble with the law before [Photograph from Metropolitan Police]

Former MP Eric Joyce has avoided jail after attacking two teenagers in an ‘entirely unacceptable’ assault in a Chalk Farm shop.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
A new play chronicles the shocking story of sex predator Savile

‘Were there people in showbusiness who knew he was ‘dodgy’? Absolutely’

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A 13-year old girl was raped by a man after meeting him the day before in Camden.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015
[Photo Emmanuel Valentine]

Twitter was flooded with photos of the tyre-high rushing brown water.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

The sell out 2014 event 32 Londoners, returns to the Coca-Cola London Eye!

The Coca-Cola London Eye is proud to announce that 32 Londoners will be returning this June, following last year’s sell out event. The event will feature 32 talks, in each of the London Eye’s 32 capsules on 32 extraordinary Londoners.

Read more
You could take in stunning views of London over brunch at the Sky Garden

Celebrate lighter, brighter days with the chance of winning an indulgent brunch for two with a bottle of bubbles at Darwin, the cool and casual brasserie 36 floors up at Sky Garden.

Read more
Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Read more