Belfast Telegraph

Friday 6 March 2015

McCluskie amnesia is 'feasible'

Gemma McCluskie played Kerry Skinner in EastEnders
Gemma McCluskie played Kerry Skinner in EastEnders

Claims by the brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie that he has no recollection of killing her or dismembering her body are "feasible", an expert has said.

Professor Michael Kopelman told a jury in the trial of Tony McCluskie that memory gaps could occur in "emotional" violent crimes involving family members.

McCluskie, 35, admits killing his sister but denies murder, saying he has no recollection of what happened after he grabbed her.

Miss McCluskie's torso was found in a suitcase in the Regent's Canal in east London, followed by her limbs in plastic bags. Her head was found six months later.

The 29-year-old, who played Kerry Skinner, the niece of Ethel Skinner, in the BBC soap in 2001, was officially identified by dental records.

Prof Kopelman, an expert in neuropsychiatry at the University of London, assessed McCluskie while he was in custody following his arrest.

Asked by defence barrister Jeremy Dein QC whether it was feasible that the defendant had "genuine amnesia", Prof Kopelman said: "It is feasible that this may be the case. It commonly gets reported where the crime takes place in a state of emotional arousal, unpremeditated and unplanned and the victim is a wife, partner, relative, someone close to the defendant."

He added: "There are things that have reminiscent characteristics of the literature on these cases, but there have been inconsistencies in his account and there was a delay in reporting his amnesia."

During his assessment, McCluskie claimed he could not remember anything after grabbing his sister's wrists on Thursday, March 1 - the day she was killed - until the morning of Saturday, March 3.

Completing his evidence at the Old Bailey today, McCluskie said; "There's not a minute of the day I don't think about my sister...I miss my sister so much."

Nightlife Galleries

More

Latest Entertainment News

Latest Music News

Latest Film & TV News

Latest Eating Out News

Horoscopes

Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Pisces:

It's sometimes difficult for a retiring person like you to showcase your talent. You are tired of being eclipsed by pushy rivals. By showing your work to the right people, you can finally gain the fame and acclaim you deserve. Fortunately, an influential friend, neighbour or colleague can set up an interview or introduction. An important executive or critic will be impressed by your efforts. If you're offered an unpaid position as an intern or apprentice, take it. This will lead to professional opportunities you couldn't find through other channels.More