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Trial latest 'Highly unlikely' Anne Colomines stabbed herself to death, husband's murder trial told

Husband Renato Gehlen denies murdering Anne at Dublin apartment


Anne Colomines and Renato Gehlen

Anne Colomines and Renato Gehlen

Anne Colomines and Renato Gehlen

A pathologist has told the Central Criminal Court trial of Renato Gehlen, who denies murdering his wife Anne Colomines, that it is "highly unlikely" the deceased stabbed herself to death.

Chief State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan said she found four stab wounds to Ms Colomines' body, a 22cm incised wound to her throat and six incisions on her hands that she said were consistent with defensive injuries.

Taking all the injuries together, she said, it is "highly unlikely" she inflicted them herself.

The pathologist said the fatal stab wound entered the right side of the chest between the fourth and fifth ribs and went to a depth of 20cm, entering and exiting the lower chambers of the heart.

A 22cm incision to the neck, she said, did not damage any blood vessels or nerves but did damage muscles.

The wound was "jagged" which the pathologist said suggests the sharp instrument that caused it passed over more than once.

The neck wound would have been "very painful", would have caused extensive bleeding and would have made it difficult for her to move her head, the pathologist said.

Shane Costelloe SC, for the prosecution, asked Dr Mulligan for her opinion on the proposition that Ms Colomines "plunged the knife into her own chest, inflicting the wound that caused her death."

Dr Mulligan said the fatal wound was "not consistent" with being self-inflicted.

She also pointed out that Ms Colomines had wounds to the right and left of the abdomen, which would require the person to use both hands.

"A person is unlikely to use a weapon in both hands separately" when inflicting wounds on themselves, she said, adding: "It is highly unlikely they would have switched hands."

She also noted that Ms Colomines was right-handed and the injury which caused her death was to the right side of the body.

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"A right-handed person would tend to inflict an injury to the left side of the body," she said. She also noted there were no "tentative wounds" around any of the four stab wounds.

She explained that it is usual to see tentative or superficial wounds near the site of a self-inflicted stab wound where the person hesitates before stabbing themselves.

The injuries to the palms of the right and left hands, she said, were consistent with defence wounds where a person blocks an attack using their hands.

These wounds were "quite deep and not consistent with self-inflicted wounds".

The pathologist agreed with defence counsel Seamus Clarke SC that she could not rule out entirely that the wounds were self-inflicted.

She said that given the different injuries, it is "highly unlikely", but, she added: "It can't be 100pc ruled out."

Mr Gehlen (39), a Brazilian national, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his 37-year-old French wife at the apartment they shared in Dorset Square, Gardiner Street, Dublin 1 on October 25, 2017.

Earlier, garda analyst Feargal McCauley told Mr Costelloe that Ms Colomines had exchanged 296 messages with a man she had met in France during the summer of 2017.

The pair repeatedly said they loved one another and were planning for him to come and live in Ireland.

They were joking about animals when, at 11.06pm, Ms Colomines sent her last message, which read: "Poor thing."

Six minutes later the French boyfriend replied, "ha ha".

Seven minutes later, Mr McCauley said the accused had a phone conversation with his friend Ralph Comendador.

Mr Comendador previously told the trial that Mr Gehlen told him during that phone conversation: "Sorry, I killed Anne and now I'm going to kill myself."

The trial continues in front of Mr Justice Michael MacGrath and a jury of five women and seven men.

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