The Malta Independent 19 October 2018, Friday

Mother of woman found dead in her bed thought she was asleep, court hears

Thursday, 11 October 2018, 12:20 Last update: about 7 days ago

Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo today started hearing evidence in compilation proceedings against Michael Emmanuel. Emmanuel, 28, from the Ivory Coast, is accused of the murder of his partner Maria Lourdes Agius.

35 year-old Agius was found strangled to death in her bedroom by her mother on 15 September.

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Emmanuel, father to three of her seven children, is denying charges of murder.

Inspector James Grech testified how the accused had gone to report to the Paola police station that his partner was not waking up.

On the scene they found her mother, Maria, who told them that her daughter was still asleep, but that she thought it was because a couple of days before, she had been beaten up by the accused in a domestic row.

Maria Lourdes Agius was found lying on her bed, facing the wall. The first impression was that she was asleep, but the police sergeant had been aware of the domestic violence report and had suspected that she might be dead. At this point a commotion erupted between the mother of the victim and the accused and the two had to be separated by the police.

Michael Emanuel told the police that the night before he had sex with the victim and they had gone to bed at 10pm. When he woke up he had found her unresponsive.

Inspector Grech said that forensic expert Dr. Mario Scerri had seen bruising on her neck and suspected that she had been strangled. This conclusion was confirmed by the autopsy. She was bruised all over and had been struck hard twice in the head.

The argument two days prior had involved the accused behaving violently towards the woman and her mother, kicking her and hitting her with a chair on her back. They had been certified as being slightly injured. He was kicked out of the house by the victim and her brother and ended up sleeping rough.

The mother of the deceased told the police that she had heard a disturbance and later silence. There were no more arguments during the night but the accused was pacing up and down on the roof. At 7am she met him coming down from the roof and asked him where her daughter was. He replied that she wasn’t at home and that he didn’t know where she had gone. The woman had then gone to the bedroom to make the grim discovery.

Lawyer Lucio Sciriha was defence counsel.

 

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