Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 3 September 2014

Star's father disowns killer son

Anthony McCluskie said he has blocked his son's calls from prison
Gemma McCluskie was hit over the head at least twice before she was hacked into six pieces

The father of late EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie has disowned his son who murdered her, declaring: "I've lost two children."

Anthony McCluskie expressed disbelief that killer Tony still shows no remorse for the brutal attack and has refused even to mention his sister's name since he was jailed.

Mr McCluskie initially stood by his son but said he had blocked the inmate's calls from prison because he has "never said sorry".

"I've lost two children really but, at the end of the day, I'm finished with Tony now," he told ITV's Daybreak. "I've been to visit him in prison since the sentence and I was so shocked by his attitude and how he was with me," he said.

"He came into the visiting room with a swagger and I started asking him questions- 'Why did you discredit your sister? Why did you tell all these lies? The QCs turned you inside out...' and he kept still denying it."

Mr McCluskie said it would be "very hard" to ever forgive the 36-year-old, who is serving a life sentence after he battered the actress to death before mutilating her body in a bid to cover up his actions.

He spoke out just weeks after insisting he would not desert his son, who showed no emotion when he was jailed for a minimum of 20 years.

Miss McCluskie, 29, found fame in the BBC soap in 2001 when she played Ethel Skinner's niece. Her dismembered body was found floating in the Regent's Canal in east London in March last year. Her head was pulled out of the water six months later.

During her brother's trial, it emerged that the actress was hit over the head at least twice before she was hacked into six pieces with a cleaver and a knife. This came after she apparently lost patience with her brother and asked him to leave the flat in Pelter Street, Shoreditch, east London, where they lived.

McCluskie told the court a massive row broke out in which she came at him with a knife. But the judge "unhesitatingly" rejected this account and said McCluskie had done everything he could to discredit his "hugely popular" sister's character.

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