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Trial latest I gave her 'six or seven digs' but did not 'go to town' on her, Nadine Lott murder trial hears

Daniel Murtagh also told gardaí he broke his hand that night and said he couldn't believe he had hit 'the love of my life a couple of slaps'

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Nadine Lott

Nadine Lott

Nadine Lott

A man who denies murdering his ex-girlfriend told gardaí they had "a domestic" and later said he gave her "six or seven hard digs" but did not "go to town" on her, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

The jury heard Nadine Lott's ex-partner Daniel Murtagh described himself as "protective" and said he had never "hit a woman in his life".

He also told gardaí he broke his hand that night and said he couldn't believe he had hit "the love of my life a couple of slaps".

When Mr Murtagh was arrested and placed in a patrol car, he told the officer it was "a domestic" but said he really loved Nadine, with whom he was in an on-off relationship.

"Answer me this, is she still alive? Tell me is she still alive?" he asked gardaí.

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Nadine Lott and Daniel Murtagh

Nadine Lott and Daniel Murtagh

Nadine Lott and Daniel Murtagh

The jury has heard that Ms Lott suffered "severe blunt force trauma" and stab injuries at the hands of her former partner "in a sustained and violent attack" in her Arklow home.

She never regained consciousness and died three days later in hospital.

Mr Murtagh (34), of Melrose Grove, Bawnogue, Clondalkin, Dublin 22, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Ms Lott (30) at her apartment in St Mary's Court, Arklow, Co Wicklow on December 17, 2019.

In his first interview with gardaí, Mr Murtagh said he loved Nadine, that he was intoxicated at the time of the assault and he could not remember anything.

The accused, who had been on methadone, said he had 100 tablets in his car and planned to take them all and drive "straight into a tree" after the incident.

He said Nadine went out for a drink and he was drinking a naggin of Captain Morgan's on the couch waiting for "my baby" to come home.

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He texted Nadine to ask when she was coming home but got no reply and fell asleep on the couch. "The rest of it is a blackout," he said.

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Nadine Lott and Daniel Murtagh

Nadine Lott and Daniel Murtagh

Nadine Lott and Daniel Murtagh

 

He said Ms Lott's mother hated him and that she did not know they were "kind of back together".

In his second interview, Mr Murtagh said he was passed out when Nadine arrived home and she gave him a slap and he slapped her back.

"It was one little slap, she was locked… It was just a silly argument," he said.

He said they only had arguments about "lads" hanging out of her as she was an "attractive woman".

He said he hit her five or six times but put "a bit more force into the last couple" of slaps and did not "go to town" on her.

He said he only thought her nose or lip was bleeding. "I kissed her and said I was sorry, I really loved her. I thought she would have woken up in the morning with just a few marks," he continued.

Earlier, the court heard that just under two weeks before her death Ms Lott told Mr Murtagh over WhatsApp not to "threaten" her and that "nothing is ever going to happen between us again, I want to make that clear".

At the outset of the trial, defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC made a number of admissions of fact to the court on behalf of his client.

These included that the accused accepted that he had unlawfully killed Ms Lott and he "alone inflicted the injuries she suffered".

The issue to be decided by the jury, Mr Grehan said, will be his intent and in the "broader sense his mental state at the time".

The trial continues.

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