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Woman tells canal body murder trial of rape hell

THE former partner of a Kenyan man, whose dismembered and headless body was pulled from the Royal Canal, has claimed he raped her on an almost daily basis and she feared he might kill her.

She said he had also been interviewed as a suspect in an unsolved murder case in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.

The woman, whom counsel requested the media not to name to protect her privacy, was giving evidence in the trial of sisters Charlotte Mulhall (23) and Linda (31), from Kilcare Gardens in Tallaght, who have both pleaded not guilty to the murder of a man known as Farah Swaleh Noor (also known as Sheilila Salim) at Richmond Cottages, Ballybough, on March 20 last year.

Passers-by saw his arms and legs floating in the Royal Canal 10 days after the alleged murder.

The witness said she met Mr Noor on the day of her 16th birthday and had since had a son by him.

The now married mother-of-three said he was a "lovely man" at first, but changed when he had a drink on him.

She also agreed with George Birmingham SC, prosecuting, that the deceased carried knives. She said he had pulled her hair and hit her in the head.

"He abused me, so I just got up and left him," she told the jury.

She said she had taken out a protection order against him and had secured full custody of their child.

He was a 'lovely man' at first, but changed when he had a drink on him

Under cross-examination the witness detailed more of the abuse she claimed she suffered at the hands of the deceased, and agreed she had fears that her son was being abused by him.

She agreed she had been raped on numerous occasions and had had "very brutal sex" with the deceased at any time and anywhere he had wanted it.

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She said the mother of the two accused, Kathleen Mulhall, had contacted her on a number of occasions, making complaints about Mr Noor and seeking her advice. She suggested she should leave him.

She also agreed she had called the gardai on a number of occasions and had told them that Mr Noor was aggressive with a short temper and was "someone who'd fight or get into rows at the drop of a hat".

In relation to her son, she said that on one occasion he had come home from an access visit with Mr Noor with what appeared to be cigarette burns on him.

This was not confirmed by the hospital, but she said Mr Noor would burn himself with cigarettes to "relieve the pain, like stress, or anything he was going through - missing his family and all that".

If somebody in his family had died, she said he would make a mark to remember them by.

On another occasion, she said she became concerned her son was overly sexualised and acting in a sexual way, which was not something she had talked about with him.

She agreed she had also had a row with Mr Noor on a day out in Sandycove, Co Dublin, where he was carrying a knife. After the row she said he disappeared and had claimed he was drinking somewhere, but she then learned this wasn't true.

He had also made comments to friends of hers about a young woman being killed in Dun Laoghaire and had been questioned in relation to that murder.

However, in earlier evidence gardai said they had eliminated him from their inquiries.

The witness said Mr Noor would drink a full bottle of vodka and would accuse her of cheating on him, before having a two-way conversation with himself in the mirror.

She told the court she feared that "one day he might kill me".

Scientist Claire Timms said she had carried out a toxicology test on a blood sample taken from a man later identified as Farah Swaleh Noor in July last year. She said the test revealed the presence of ecstasy or MDMA at a level of 0.14 micrograms per millilitre.

The Central Criminal Court trial has reached its closing stages. The jury is expected to consider its verdict tomorrow after closing speeches and a charge from Mr Justice Paul Carney.

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