Man accused of killing Nicola Collins tells court they met on relationships course

Man accused of killing Nicola Collins tells court they met on relationships course
Nicola Collins

The man accused of murdering a 38-year-old woman gave evidence of meeting the deceased on a 10-week course called Effective Communication for Better Relationships.

He also described her cutting herself with a knife in his flat and that it was like a game to her to get him to try and get the knife from her.

Cathal O'Sullivan, 45, who is originally from Charleville, County Cork, is on trial at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork and denies murdering Nicola Collins on March 27, 2017 at a flat at 6A Popham's Road, Farranree, Cork, over the Gala store.

He gave two hours of evidence today about the days before Nicola Collins died. He has yet to testify about the moments around her death in the early hours of Monday, March 27. He spoke about how they met, their on-again/ off-again relationship and Nicola Collins coming over to stay in his flat on the Thursday night before her death.

He said he was on medication for anxiety, depression and social phobia and sought out the course on effective communication where he met Nicola Collins for the first time in October 2015. “Two weeks into the New Year 2016 we got kind of intimate… She helped me to be a lot better as a person.

“She used to get outbursts. She would not know what she was doing. You would be scared for her, not of her… Alcohol-related emotional outbursts of aggression is a good way to describe it,” Cathal O’Sullivan said.

In the course of the few days together from Thursday into the weekend they drank and watched Netflix – including the movies of Young Offenders and Inbetweeners and the Planet Earth series.

Referring to the deceased drinking cider on the Friday night he said: “When it goes over the two-litre and goes to the third litre, things get very vibrant, emotional, uncontrollable… She started to lash out (physically). She was trying to scrape me (when they were on the bed). I am used to pushing her hands to one side. She is getting on to her knees coming towards the middle of the bed. I am pushing her hands away. That kind of annoyed her.”

He motioned in the witness box holding his hand and arm in front of himself in a blocking position and said she lunged at him. “My hand kind of snapped back into her eye, nose and mouth. It was an accident – no one tried to make it happen,” he said.

He said a temporary cap fell from her tooth and that during the night the remaining piece of tooth cut her lip so she asked him for dental floss so that she could pull out what remained of the tooth.

“She pulled it out herself on the Saturday morning because her lip had been cut during the night from it. She asked me for dental floss for it. She pulled it out. There was blood dripping. There was quite a lot of blood,” he said.

As he told gardaí in an interview – which was read to the jury earlier in the trial – he repeated again that Nicola Collins told him she had a miscarriage and put the deceased baby in a freezer and people told her to take it out so, he said she told him she put it in a shed.

Defence senior counsel Tom Creed stood up and said he did not want to interrupt the direct examination by Colman Cody SC but Mr Creed said, “We have lots of hearsay that is a denigration of her character.”

Cathal O’Sullivan said the bed kept falling apart and when they were fixing it, the doubled over mattress sprang back causing a lat to strike the deceased in the stomach which caused bruising.

In another alleged incident when he said she had a knife that he was trying to get from her, “I pushed her throat and chin area. Because I was pushing there, I could leave a mark there, like. It was just a game to Nicola,” he testified.

The trial before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and the jury of nine men and three women at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork continues tomorrow.

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