Ac­cused of chok­ing girl­friend

The Oban Times - - News -

THE TRIAL of a Cana­dian man ac­cused of chok­ing his former girl­friend and ren­der­ing her un­con­scious last May is con­tin­u­ing in Fort Wil­liam.

Jef­frey Ray­mond Kell, 33, has de­nied the as­sault, al­leged to have taken place dur­ing the early hours of May 20, 2016, at a Fort Wil­liam ho­tel.

On Mon­day April 3, when the trial be­gan, Fort Wil­liam Sher­iff Court heard ev­i­dence from the com­plainant, a 27-year- old Cana­dian woman, who said an ar­gu­ment broke out be­tween her­self and Kell, who were on hol­i­day in Fort Wil­liam, af­ter they had been drink­ing to­gether at the ho­tel bar.

The com­plainant told the court she and Kell be­gan ‘bick­er­ing’ af­ter the pair en­gaged in sex­ual ac­tiv­ity, dur­ing which she be­came un­com­fort­able but he failed to stop.

She said Kell ‘just snapped’ and grabbed her by the neck and threw her against the wall and the mir­ror, smashed her head on the floor and choked her.

She said she then saw him jump out the win­dow on to the mez­za­nine roof be­low but he said she had pushed him. She told the court Kell then came back to the room and she let him in be­cause she was ‘scared of what he was go­ing to do’.

At this point, she said, a concierge came to the door to tell them the po­lice had been called.

The com­plainer said Kell then threw some­thing small and hard at her and she threw a pil­low back at him, at which point she says he choked her to the point where she be­came un­con­scious.

When she woke up, she ran to the front desk, where the concierge hid her in a cor­ner in the dark un­til the po­lice ar­rived.

The court learned the com­plainer had re­tracted the state­ment she had given to the po­lice and had it au­tho­rised by a Cana­dian lawyer on May 31, 2016. The com­plainer claims Kell’s mother made her do it as she said Kell was go­ing to be killed in prison if she didn’t.

Kell’s so­lic­i­tor Gerry Sweeney said his client’s po­si­tion was that he choked the com­plainer twice at her re­quest, as part of the sex­ual ac­tiv­ity, and he later choked her an­other twice in self- de­fence as she at­tacked him, all of which the com­plainer de­nies.

On Tues­day, the trial con­tin­ued and the ho­tel’s night porter, whom the com­plainant re­ferred to as the concierge, told the court he had knocked on their ho­tel room door fol­low­ing three or four phone calls from other guests com­plain­ing about noise.

He said as he ap­proached the room on the sec­ond floor to in­ves­ti­gate he heard a woman scream­ing, ‘Please stop do­ing that, just let me go’ and a man say­ing: ‘You’re a bitch, you shouldn’t be do­ing that, I don’t de­serve that’ as well as loud bang­ing which sounded like hit­ting or kick­ing.

When he knocked on the door, Kell an­swered and told him he was just leav­ing. The night porter then re­turned to re­cep­tion to phone the po­lice.

He con­firmed he hid the woman un­til the po­lice ar­rived, at which point he spoke to of­fi­cers and then re­turned to the room fol­low­ing fur­ther calls from guests and came back down with Kell, who he feared was go­ing to kill him­self.

The court also heard ev­i­dence from two wit­nesses stay­ing in the ho­tel on the night of May 19.

The first told the court she called po­lice af­ter hear­ing noises of a sex­ual na­ture fol­lowed by a man shout­ing loudly and ag­gres­sively and a hys­ter­i­cal woman, ac­com­pa­nied with loud crashes and bangs. She said she was fear­ful of some­one be­ing hurt and for her own safety.

The sec­ond wit­ness told the court he heard loud foot­steps fol­lowed by noises of sex­ual ac­tiv­ity. Around half an hour af­ter this he said ‘all hell broke loose’.

Po­lice con­sta­bles Marina Mac­Don­ald and Sean Knox, who both at­tended the scene shortly be­fore 1am af­ter re­ports of a dis­tur­bance at the ho­tel, told the court the com­plainant was up­set and dis­tressed.

Con­sta­ble Knox then checked if the woman was okay and the porter showed them to the cou­ple’s room where Kell was de­tained at 1am on sus­pi­cion of as­sault. The trial con­tin­ues.

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