Eleanor Man­gion mur­der case: Mother called to tes­tify but re­fuses to look at the ac­cused

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Josephine Walker, the mother of Eleanor Man­gion, the per­son who found mur­dered in a ware­house in Qormi ear­lier this year, told the court how the ac­cused, An­dre Man­gion, used abu­sive be­hav­iour with his daugh­ter and for­mer wife.

Tak­ing to the wit­ness stand, still vis­i­bly shocked and re­fus­ing to even look at the ac­cused, Mrs Walker ex­plained that her daugh­ter and An­drew, used to live in the same apart­ment in the same block of apart­ments as hers.

How­ever, due to the fact that the two were un­der­go­ing sep­a­ra­tion pro­ceed­ings, they used to sleep in two dif­fer­ent rooms. She told the court that Mr Man­gion used to sleep in the main bed­room, while the vic­tim and their daugh­ter slept in an­other.

Sep­a­ra­tion pro­ceed­ings started around three years ago and the mother claimed that her daugh­ter mar­ried the ac­cused sim­ply be­cause the parish priest would not bap­tise their daugh­ter.

An­drew Man­gion stands ac­cused with the mur­der of 33-yearold Eleanor Man­gion who was found dead in a ware­house in Qormi. Her body was found in July and in­ves­ti­ga­tors had es­tab­lished that the mother of one, had been killed in a garage in Swieqi.

Mrs Walker told the court how she had heard the cou­ple fight­ing. She said that she heard them fight from her apart­ment and went to see what was go­ing on. The mother said that once in­side her daugh­ter’s apart­ment, she tried to stop the cou­ple from hurt­ing each other. Mr Man­gion’s nose was bleed­ing. “My daugh­ter used to learn ju­jitsu and knew how to de­fend her­self,” she told Mag­is­trate Doreen Clarke.

This in­ci­dent al­legedly took place some four years ago and the mother ad­mit­ted she never knew ex­actly why the two were fight­ing as their daugh­ter stood at the cor­ner of the room, scared.

Even af­ter this in­ci­dent, the cou­ple lived un­der the same roof.

“An­drew used to shout at the daugh­ter, grab her by the face and shout in her face like this,” as she ges­tured how the ac­cused used to grab the child by her face.

One point, Bev­erly, the vic­tim’s sis­ter, had hit An­drew Man­gion and told him to leave the child alone. It was later re­vealed that the daugh­ter had a con­di­tion and has an LSA as­sist­ing her at school.

“I recall times when An­drew would lock the daugh­ter and put the key some­where high so that she can­not reach. The daugh­ter is now speak­ing out,” she fur­ther ex­plained.

Pressed by the pros­e­cu­tion to say if she had ever wit­nessed such abuse, the mother said that she had heard this from the daugh­ter her­self, but never wit­nessed any of it di­rectly.

On Fri­day of the week­end of the mur­der, An­drew had told Mrs Walker to wake him up at 7:30am, as he had “to take care of some­thing”.

On Satur­day, she woke up at around 5:30am clean­ing and do­ing some chores around the house. She then went to wake up An­drew. She did not know if Eleanor was at the apart­ment or not. As she went back to clean­ing the house, she re­calls hav­ing heard An­drew tak­ing some fur­ni­ture down­stairs.

On that same day, at around 1:30pm, the ac­cused came into her house and told her he wanted to call her brother, Eleanor’s un­cle. He picked up the phone and jok­ingly, the An­drew told him “it’s me, we were in the same prison cell to­gether.” He wanted her brother’s help to carry the fur­ni­ture to his farm.

That evening, on the same day when the al­leged mur­der took place, An­drew went back to Mrs Walker’s house. Ac­cord­ing to the wit­ness, the man looked scruffy and she noted he had a hole in his shirt.

While he was in house, he took a choco­late from a bowl on the ta­ble. The mother later re­al­ized that those same choco­lates were out­dated and filled with worms. “At least I know that the last thing he took from my house was full of worms,” she added.

At one point, In­spec­tor Keith Arnoud, as is cus­tom­ary, asked the wit­ness to iden­tify the ac­cused sit­ting in the room. She re­fused and kept her eye-con­tact on Mag­is­trate Doreen Clarke. “I refuse to look at him. Even look­ing at his un­cle is scary,” she said.

The mother wanted to go on ex­plain­ing how she had found it hard to iden­tify her daugh­ter in the morgue, but the pros­e­cu­tion had no more ques­tions and closed her tes­ti­mony.

Nurse Na­dia Curmi was also called to tes­tify. She said she was work­ing at the Emer­gency and Res­cue Depart­ment at Mater Dei hospi­tal when they were in­formed of the in­ci­dent. She said she went on site, un­cov­ered the body and found Eleanor Man­gion, ly­ing face-down in a pool of blood.

Po­lice In­spec­tor Pierre Guido Sal­iba was also cross ex­am­ined by de­fence lawyer Joe Giglio who asked how he had heard about the drug traf­fick­ing al­le­ga­tions on Mr Man­gion.

In­spec­tor Sal­iba said that it was a cer­tain Martin Grech who in­formed him of this. Pressed by the de­fence, Mr Sal­iba said that An­drew Man­gion was not a fa­mil­iar name in the drug traf­fick­ing busi­ness and in­ves­ti­ga­tions found noth­ing over the mat­ter.

Dr Giglio protested and said that the de­fence has a lot of reser­va­tions over this par­tic­u­lar wit­ness as the pros­e­cu­tion is sim­ply try­ing to throw dirt at the ac­cused.

The case con­tin­ues on 15 Novem­ber.

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