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Lillis rejects claim he hit Celine three times on head

MURDER accused Eamonn Lillis yesterday denied that he hit his wife, Celine Cawley, three times on the head with a brick during an argument in their home.

On his final day of giving evidence, Mr Lillis also denied that he felt trapped after starting an affair with his masseuse, Jean Treacy.

The father-of-one was cross examined yesterday during the trial at the Central Criminal Court in Dublin in which he denies murdering Ms Cawley in December 2008. He rejected evidence by the Deputy State Pathologist that his wife sustained facial injuries as she lay face down on the ground.

Mary Ellen Ring, prosecuting, said Ms Cawley had a total of 18 minor marks and abrasions on her face and that Dr Michael Curtis had said the facial injuries were consistent with her lying face down on the ground.


However, the 52-year-old denied this, saying that in the struggle on the ground her face turned to the right and this was likely when she sustained some of the facial injuries.

He also told the court that the three significant head injuries that his wife sustained likely came about when he pushed her against a window, when she fell alone, and when they fell together on to the patio outside the couple's home in Howth, Dublin. He said that he was not sure if his wife's head struck a window but thought it may have because she let out "an almighty scream". One of the injuries on her chin was sustained as he pushed her hand -- which was holding a brick -- above her head, he claimed.

However, Ms Ring said the lacerations on the back of her head were not consistent with hitting her head against a window. "One of these horizontally orientated lacerations to her head was the full thickness of the bone," she said. "And one was of partial thickness."

Mr Lillis said he "didn't initially" see the blood from his wife's head injuries and that she did not ask him to call an ambulance.

When asked why he "got rid" of his blood-stained clothes, he said he was "very upset and confused". Ms Ring put it to him that after telling the initial lie about how they had sustained their injuries, that he felt "trapped". She referred to a note found in the house which stated: "She will never share your bed."

Mr Lillis said that did not refer to him but to a character in a script he was writing.

The note also said: "You are running out of time. You will never take her to France. The only way to be with her is to live here." Mr Lillis said he wrote that based on what he was going through and the idea for the script was sparked by the situation he found himself in.

However, he denied that he believed he had a future with Ms Treacy whom he began an affair with eight weeks before his wife's death.

"There was never a possibility," he said. "That was never going to happen."

"Are you sure about that," asked Ms Ring.

"Yes I am," stated Mr Lillis.

He said he wrote the note at 4am when he awoke with the idea for a script. "It (the idea) was sparked by the situation I was in," he said. "I had no reason to feel trapped." Ms Ring contended that the injuries on Ms Cawley's head were sustained by being hit with a brick and that Mr Lillis had begun to lie, and "continued that lie".

"The reason was because you'd taken the brick and hit her not once, not twice, but three times," she said.

She said Ms Cawley's injuries were consistent with the edge of a brick rather than the edge of a window. "That's not true," replied Mr Lillis.

The trial continues.

Irish Independent