Monday 24 October 2016

Man accused of murdering Irish wife 'cried as jury shown horrific photographs of mutilated body'

Claire McNeilly

Published 21/05/2015 | 07:06

Christopher Cullen (51) denies the murder of his estranged wife Comrie Cullen (39)
Christopher Cullen (51) denies the murder of his estranged wife Comrie Cullen (39)

A man accused of murdering his Irish wife in Australia cried as the jury was shown horrific photographs of her mutilated body, as well as the knife allegedly used to slash her throat.

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Thirty-nine-year-old Victoria Comrie Cullen was found dead in a fishing club car park in Sydney with her throat slit and 18 other stab wounds.

Her 51-year-old estranged husband Christopher Cullen is accused of her murder on January 22 last year.

Earlier that day he was allegedly captured on CCTV buying two knives marked "guaranteed sharp" and a black T-shirt from a camping and fishing store.

Comrie Cullen
Comrie Cullen

Nurse Gibson Kariuki said he was sleeping off a night shift when screams woke him.

"I heard screams… that gradually became louder from a woman. She was just screaming out of pain," he told the court.

Christopher Cullen
Christopher Cullen

Mr Kariuki​ said the screaming seemed to be from the driveway area of his apartment block and continued for about two or three minutes, before a car drove off.

A large bag of evidence was brought into the New South Wales Supreme Court by detectives. The jury were shown the two knives - one with a 17 centimetre blade - the prosecution claim were used in the killing.

The accused's bloodstained white sneakers and the black T-shirt were also shown in court.

The court has been going through crime scene photos, including pictures of the Cullens' white Hyundai, found in the fishing club car park spattered with blood. Mrs Cullen's blood-stained handbag, containing broken sunglasses, was in the boot, jurors heard.

Jurors in the trial were also shown autopsy photographs of Mrs Cullen. The court was told by a forensic pathologist that Mrs Cullen had a cut on her neck that reached her vertebrae. Dr Istvan Szentmariay also said he observed cuts on her left hand, palm and ring finger, bruising on her forehead and on her lips and a fractured nose.

The trial has been told that on the morning of the killing the couple appeared in court over a dispute about a car registered under Mr Cullen's business name.

After the court made a ruling unfavourable to Mr Cullen, a car similar to his was seen at Mrs Cullen's Sutherland unit block, where neighbours heard screaming and a woman saying: "Where are you taking me?", to which a man replied: "Just wait in the car."

The court has been told Mr Cullen, who emerged from mangroves in Woolooware Bay in the hours after Mrs Cullen's body was found, told police his estranged wife had "taunted" him about her sex life and that he "lost it".

Mrs Cullen is originally from Bangor in Co Down.

The trial continues.

Belfast Telegraph

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