A man accused of murdering honeymooner Michaela McAreavey has broken down in court after claiming he was tortured by police during interrogation.
Avinash Treebhoowoon sobbed and wiped tears from his eyes as he spoke of being separated from his wife and family on his arrest in the wake of Co Tyrone teacher's death in a Mauritius hotel.
Giving evidence in his own defence at the Supreme Court in Port Louis, he claimed he shouted out for his mother as officers beat him as he lay naked and handcuffed on a table.
The 31-year-old also alleged he was slapped so hard on the head that he was unable to hear out of one ear.
Earlier, the former cleaner acknowledged he had been in the room inside the luxury Legends Hotel where the 27-year-old newlywed was found strangled on the day of the crime in January last year. But at the time she died in room 1025, he insisted he was elsewhere in the exclusive resort.
Treebhoowoon and co-accused Sandip Moneea, 42, another ex-member of staff at Legends, deny murdering the daughter of Tyrone gaelic football boss Mickey Harte.
The prosecution claims they attacked her when she interrupted them stealing in her room, having left her husband by the pool to fetch biscuits for her tea.
Dressed in a white shirt and grey trousers, the defendant remained composed throughout most of his testimony until he reached the conclusion and recalled telling police on the day of his arrest to inform his wife Reshma why he would not be coming home.
"I told them I was innocent," he said, crying. "I was thinking about my family."
Treebhoowoon signed a statement of confession three days after Mrs McAreavey's death. But he has since insisted the admission was extracted by violent means.