A FORMER crack addict who claimed his girlfriend had beaten herself to death admitted in court that he had attacked her three times on the night she died – but insisted he had not killed her.
Giving evidence in Winchester at his trial for murder, Daniel O’Malley-Keyes said that Sharon Perrett (37) had caused the most severe injuries herself and she had suffered 15 rib fractures while he was trying to save her life by giving her CPR.
The jury retired to consider its verdict today (Wednesday) and was due to have come back tomorrow for further deliberations.
Claiming that she had attacked him first at their home in Park Gardens, Somerford, during a violent row on 25th August last year, he said: “She came out of the loo kicking me in the legs, I retaliated. I sat back and kicked out at her.”
He said his feet had not made contact with Sharon but he then hit her with a closed fist saying: “We had a scuffle in the hallway, a bit of slapping and hitting – nothing too serious.”
The jury heard a post-mortem examination showed Sharon had 15 fractured ribs, a fracture to the base of her neck and 82 bruises all over her body including 15 to her head.
One bruise bore the imprint of the sole of a pair of trainers worn by O’Malley-Keyes on the night of Sharon’s death, which were later found to be soaked in blood, the court has heard.
When he was initially quizzed by police after being arrested on suspicion of murder, the defendant claimed that Sharon, who worked as a carer, had caused her own death in a drunken frenzy after the couple argued over her behaviour during a night out in Southbourne.
O’Malley-Keyes, unemployed, of Chestnut Avenue, Bournemouth, told detectives: “‘I did not do it, I did not hit her. She did it to herself.”
But giving evidence in his defence at his trial, in which he denies murder, he admitted that he had “panicked” and lied to police about not hitting his girlfriend of 18 months.
O’Malley-Keyes said he had earlier struck Sharon in his van while taking her home from the night out in August.
He said she had started smashing her head on the dashboard and he had slapped her several times but claimed: “I did not intend to cause her really serious harm.”
The defendant told the jury the fighting continued at the couple’s home, admitting that he had hit her during three periods several hours apart.
He claimed Sharon was being the aggressor, he was acting in self-defence, and the injuries he caused her were minor.
After their last bout of fighting in the lounge in the early hours of August 26th, he had carried Sharon into the bedroom where he said she later inflicted the fatal injuries on herself.
O’Malley-Keyes, who denies one charge of murder and one of manslaughter, told the jury: “I could hear her swearing and shouting in the bedroom, I could hear her hitting the door. I think she has done all this damage to herself.”
He said when he did go into the bedroom later he found Sharon lying naked on the bed, covered in blood.
He claimed he had tried to save her life by giving her CPR but realised she was dead. The court heard he did not call an ambulance but instead phoned his mother who alerted the emergency services.
Police found the carpet, bedding, furniture and walls in the couple’s flat were soaking wet which the prosecution claimed were attempts by the defendant to clean up the murder scene using a bin full of water.
But in court he claimed that he and Sharon had had a water fight during their row.
O’Malley-Keyes, who was addicted to crack cocaine at one stage, admitted his relationship with Sharon had been “stressful” and he claimed she had often attacked him when drunk.
In an audio recording on his mobile phone, he could be heard accusing her of smashing a photo frame over his head. Earlier in the case the jury were shown a series of abusive texts sent between the couple.
In one, O’Malley-Keyes, told Sharon he had moved out “before we end up killing each other”.
In another he said: “I’ve never hated a woman as much as you”, adding: “I’m going to lose my f***ing s*** properly. I don’t want that. I do love you but I can see it coming.”
In a text sent just two months before Sharon died he told her: “I will kill you one day.”
On the night before she died, he had taken her to meet his niece for the first time. He told the court Sharon was already drunk before they left home and while out she had “embarrassed” him by becoming abusive.
The court has heard how Sharon left the pub and was later found at a bus stop wearing only a G-string and skimpy top lying on the floor “humping” the pavement, which was captured on CCTV.
A nurse tried to help her and was about to call an ambulance when O’Malley-Keyes turned up in his van and insisted on taking her home.
Summing up for the prosecution, James Newton-Price QC told how Sharon had been a “woman quite literally beaten to death”.
Mr Newton-Price told the jury: “There is no doubt that he killed Sharon in a sustained and unrestrained attack.”
For the defence, Matthew Jewell QC claimed that although O’Malley-Keyes had hit Sharon he had not “intended to cause really serious harm to the woman he still loved”.
He said Sharon had fallen over on the way to the van, cracking her head on the floor and that she had in the past caused serious injuries to herself when drunk that had required hospital treatment which she had then blamed on the defendant.
The jury are considering their verdict.