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Murder accused said Nicola 'lunged' at him after cider binge in bed

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Mother-of-three Nicola Collins

Mother-of-three Nicola Collins

Mother-of-three Nicola Collins

A murder accused insisted his girlfriend injured herself in the face and head when she lunged at him after drinking more than two litres of cider while they were in bed watching The Young Offenders.

Cathal O'Sullivan (45) gave testimony at the Central Criminal Court in Cork yesterday in his own defence during his trial for the murder of mother-of-three Nicola Collins (38).

Mr O'Sullivan denies the murder of Kerry-born Ms Coll-ins, who was found dead with 125 injuries to her body at his flat in Popham's Road, Farranree, Cork, in the early hours of March 27 last year.

Fractured

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster said Ms Coll-ins died from a head injury caused by blunt-force trauma.

She had sustained 125 injuries to her body including a black eye and a fractured jaw and had two missing teeth.

The defendant, who told gardai in statements that Ms Collins would tell him lies and that he took everything she said with "a grain of salt", yesterday claimed she told him she had had a miscarriage.

He also said in evidence that Ms Collins had an alcohol problem, self-harmed, had psychiatric issues, was emotionally unstable and had "aggressive outbursts" whenever she drank heavily.

The defendant told the trial that Ms Collins said to him over the weekend of her death that she had had a miscarriage. He had been involved in an on-off relationship with her since early 2016.

"She said one [foetus] was down the toilet and the other she kept," he said.

"She could see the baby's eyes and did not want to get rid of it. It was in the freezer."

Mr O'Sullivan, who had been drinking with Ms Collins in his flat for two days at this point, said he queried the story.

He said he asked if it was still there, and: "She said it was in a shed out the garden."

He said Ms Collins said others had told her to "throw it out".

"She said she put it out in a shed in the back. I said that's not right at all," he testified.

Tom Creed, for the State, objected to the evidence offered.

"This is a denigration of the deceased's character," he said.

The defendant had claimed to gardai that Ms Collins would get "caught up in lies".

Mr O'Sullivan said she had been drinking cider in his flat and, after more than two litres, became emotional on several occasions and "lunged" at him.

He said that, in defending himself, Ms Collins accidentally suffered an injury to her face and eye. In a second incident, he claimed she suffered a tooth injury when he again defended himself from her.

Mr O'Sullivan said Ms Collins asked for dental floss and then pulled out her own tooth.

A short time later, he said he saw her pick up a knife and was concerned that she would self-harm.

Struggle

"She's a self-harmer. She picked up the knife and asked me if it was sharp," he said.

Mr O'Sullivan said he tried to grab the knife and a struggle ensued. Having got hold of the knife, he threw it under the bed for safety. "It was just a game to Nicola," he said.

The trial previously heard that Ms Collins' blood was found all over the defendant's grey sports top when gardai and paramedics attended the scene in the early hours of March 27.

The trial heard Mr O'Sullivan made three phone calls to a friend - one of which lasted more than 30 minutes - in the hour before he called 999 for Ms Collins.

Paramedics found her naked body on the bedroom floor. She was partly covered by a blood-stained towel. Her blood was found in the bedroom and bathroom of the flat.

Mr Creed said it was the State's case that the defendant beat the young mother to death.

The trial continues.


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