Murder accused told gardaí he was trying to keep her safe

Murder accused told gardaí he was trying to keep her safe
Nicola Collins.

THE man accused of murdering a 38-year-old woman told gardaí he loved her and only tried to keep her safe and protect both of them when “she tried to scrape like a cat.”

Cathal O’Sullivan, aged 45, who is originally from Charleville, is on trial at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork and denies murdering Nicola Collins on March 27, 2016, at a flat at 6A Popham’s Road, Farranree, over the Gala store.

The jury heard evidence from the memo of the interview of him by Detective Garda Kevin O’Donnell and Detective Garda Deirdre Murphy two days after her death.

The accused said the deceased told lies all the time and he could not believe what she told him. He said that she told him that following miscarriages she had kept babies in a deep freeze in a shed at the back of her house, but he did not know whether to believe her or not.

He described himself as having qualified from UCC as a neuroscientist and was passionate about science, but was on a disability allowance, suffering from severe anxiety, depression and social phobia.

He said the deceased drank all the time and would drink two-litre bottles of Linden Village cider and would become aggressive, blaming him for things.

“She was scraping me. I had to restrain her. I tried to prevent her doing harm to me. When she is violent she does not hold her balance too well.

“She has a personality disorder. She blames me for everything.

“She said she had the babies in the freezer. She said she had them in the shed… I don’t know if it is real or not. These stories a lot of the time turn out to be false. I don’t know if these stories are true,” the accused told gardaí.

He said that on Sunday night she got into bed after a shower and went drinking in bed. He said he was watching TV.

“At one stage she was making a gurgling sound and blood was erupting from her mouth. There was blood coming out. She threw up blood. I put her in the recovery position. ‘Are you alright Nicola?’ She told me previously she vomited blood.

“Later I turned off the TV. I realised she was not breathing. I started giving her mouth to mouth. She was not responsive. I wanted the blood that was there out. I started giving her mouth to mouth. I gave her CPR. I thought she was dead. I rang 999.

“She was comfortable around me. She passed away beside me. She was safe with me. Despite whatever drinking or fighting I thought I could keep her safe.

“Maybe I should have kept my arms around her, but my arms were not around her. I stopped drinking. I turned on the TV. I thought everything was OK. Maybe I should have kept my arms around her.

“I do not like any violence. I do not want to be part of it. It is part of Nicola. I have to restrain the woman. I cannot get scratched. She would take the eyes out of you. I have to keep her away.

“I just think, mind this girl, take care of her. I don’t look at it as self-defence. I look at it as minding her. When you say self-defence it sounds like martial arts or something. I was trying to protect her and protect myself. She tries to scratch like a cat… It calms down for a while and she drinks some more.”

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

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