A man accused of murdering his disabled girlfriend nine years ago was on bail for allegedly attacking her with an iron bar just weeks earlier, a court heard.
Dean Williams was said to have lashed out at 40-year-old Mary Malkin, who had a prosthetic leg, in anger over a missing mobile phone.
Police called to Invicta House in Millmead Road, Margate, in December 2004, found Ms Malkin with marks and swelling to her neck.
“She alleged he had punched her and then throttled her with his hands,” said prosecutor Cairns Nelson at Maidstone Crown Court.
“She had bruising to her left kidney and swelling to her cheekbone with a possible displaced fracture.
“The defendant denied assaulting her in any way and asserted any injuries she had were as a result of her punching herself or as a result of fitting.”
Mr Nelson added that it was a “matter of some significance” that Ms Malkin told police that Williams had tried to choke her.
Williams, now aged 51, strangled Ms Malkin to death in January 2005.
The court heard that while it is accepted he killed his girlfriend, he denies murder by reason of the “partial defence” of diminished responsibility.
It is said he suffers from Alcohol Dependency Syndrome, which had caused “some” brain damage and, therefore, “substantially impaired” his mental responsibility for the killing.
Williams was released on bail following the alleged assault in December while Ms Malkin was given a place at a women’s refuge.
However, she had to leave when Williams was discovered in her room, “no doubt at Ms Malkin’s invitation”, said Mr Nelson.
She moved back into Invicta House with Williams on January 11, only to die less than three weeks later.
The jury heard that Williams and Ms Malkin had met in about 2002 and shared a “turbulent and dysfunctional” relationship.
It was characterised by violence used “by him towards her”, said the prosecutor.
But despite Williams being arrested by police on several occasions for alleged attacks on his girlfriend, he was never convicted of assaulting either her.
Nor did he have any convictions for violence on his former partner, Kate Clarke, who is to give evidence for the prosecution.
The jury was told, however, that if they found Ms Malkin’s witness statements and Ms Clarke’s evidence to be true, that would demonstrate that the throttling of Ms Malkin was not some “isolated, one-off, inexplicable moment of alcohol-induced diminished responsibility”.
Mr Nelson said the court would hear “a voice from the grave” - four statements made by Ms Malkin to the police.
In April 2004 police were called to an address in Ramsgate where they found her with bruising to her left eye and cheek. She said Williams had assaulted her.
In June that year she went to A&E at the QEQM Hospital and told staff she had been headbutted “three times” by her partner.
In October 2004 a taxi driver told police that a passenger named as “Mary” was punched twice, allegedly by Williams, while she was sitting on the back seat.
The man then threatened to kill both of them before running into the path of the cab.
A month later Ms Malkin was treated at hospital for self-inflicted small cuts to her neck. She returned home and carried on drinking with Williams.
However, she later told police she woke to find her boyfriend sitting over her.
“He had both hands gripped around her throat and was trying to strangle her,” said Mr Nelson.
In what was said to be a reference to an earlier suicide attempt by Ms Malkin, Williams was then said to have told her: “I will do it properly for you.”
The court heard, however, that 11 days after she reported the assault to police she made another statement saying she no longer supported a prosecution.
Ms Malkin was then alleged to have been further assaulted by Williams at their flat just weeks before she died.
The trial is expected to end next week.
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