Man accused of murdering wife told garda of ‘50/50 blame on both sides’

Renato Gehlen said he was trying to grab knife from Anne Colomines’ hand when she was stabbed

Anne Colomines was found with multiple stab injuries in an apartment at Dorset Square in Dublin in October 2017.

Anne Colomines was found with multiple stab injuries in an apartment at Dorset Square in Dublin in October 2017.

 

A man who denies murdering his wife told a garda that she was stabbed when he tried to grab a knife from her hand while they were arguing, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Renato Gehlen told the garda it was “50/50 blame on both sides” and that he “tried to make her stop”. He told the garda that he then tried to kill himself because Anne Colomines was his family.

The 39-year-old Brazilian national has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Colomines (37) at the apartment they shared in Dorset Square, Gardiner Street, Dublin 1 on October 25th, 2017.

The trial has previously heard from Chief State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan that Ms Colomines had four stab wounds to her torso, a 22cm incision on her neck and wounds to her hands. One of the stab wounds was 20cm deep and passed through the heart, causing the French woman’s death.

Garda Alma McGovern told prosecuting counsel Shane Costelloe SC that on October 27th, 2017 she was on duty outside Mr Gehlen’s room in the Mater Hospital’s high dependency unit while he was being treated for injuries he suffered on the night Ms Colomines died.

She said Mr Gehlen beckoned her to enter the room and told her he wanted to talk. She told him he was under no obligation to speak and cautioned him that anything he said would be taken down and could be used in evidence.

Another man

Reading from notes she took as Mr Gehlen spoke, Garda McGovern said he told her that he and Ms Colomines had a fight about “another man”.

“They started yelling at each other and she said she would cut herself if he came close,” Garda McGovern said.

Mr Gehlen said he left his wife for five to 10 minutes before going back and asking to talk to her.

Ms Colomines took a knife and pressed it against her neck, he said. Mr Gehlen recalled a further “small argument” about Ms Colomines’ boyfriend before they went to different parts of the house.

When he went to check on her, he said there was another fight. He said he then took her computer to check who she was talking to and she asked Mr Gehlen what he was doing.

Garda McGovern’s notes read: “She had a knife in her hand and he went to grab the knife off her and she was stabbed. It was 50/50 blame on both sides.”

The garda recalled Mr Gehlen saying that he “tried to make her stop and that it was an accident”.

Mr Gehlen then went into detail about his relationship with Ms Colomines, saying that they had split up three weeks earlier and were supposed to talk to see if things were all right.

He told Garda McGovern that he tried to take the knife from his wife and that “they were just kitchen knives”.

“He then said he tried to kill himself because she was his family,” she added.

Det Sgt Ken Hoare arrived at the hospital and in his presence Garda McGovern read back her notes to Mr Gehlen.

Yellow knife

Det Gda Hoare told Mr Costelloe that he asked Mr Gehlen which knife his wife had used. Mr Gehlen said that he had used a yellow knife and Ms Colomines the red knife.

Det Sgt Hoare said Mr Gehlen remained in the high dependency unit until November 2nd, 2017, when he was transferred to another ward. He was discharged on November 10th and Det Sgt Hoare arrested him 2.10pm that day.

During his time in hospital, Mr Gehlen agreed to allow his wife’s family to take her body to France and gave them permission to take certain items from the apartment. When Mr Gehlen regained consciousness on October 26th, Det Sgt Hoare told him that Ms Colomines was dead. From Mr Gehlen’s response, the detective believed that he already knew.

Garda Karen McCarthy told Mr Costelloe that on October 25th, 2017 she took part in a search of the apartment where Ms Colomines’ body was found. She said she found a Stanley blade or box-cutter on the bedroom floor near where Ms Colomines’ body lay.

Garda Aileen Donnelly said she found a red knife at the bottom of the bed under a throw.

The trial has previously heard that Mr Gehlen had a yellow-handled knife sticking from his chest when first responders arrived at the apartment. The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Michael MacGrath and a jury of five women and seven men.