View Full Version : Assault trial: Daly 2

17-Mar-16, 09:21
"Accused threatened to kill me"

A WOMAN told a jury yesterday that she feared the violent and degrading treatment her former husband subjected her to, would end with him killing her.
Marie Islam was continuing her dramatic evidence about the catalogue of violence she claimed she had regularly suffered at the hands of control freak Konstanty Bembnista.
The incidents involved her being beaten regularly, sometimes unconscious by Kon, as she referred to him, at their idyllic Highland cottage in Lybster, during most of their 13 years there.
Mrs Islam said she fled from it to get help on more than one occasion but was pursued and assaulted by Kon,
She giving evidence on the second day of a trial, over a video link, at Wick Sheriff Court.
Glasgow-Born Bembnista, 68, denies on indictment a serious of historic assaults on Mrs Islam at their home at Kyburn Cottage. He also pleads not guilty to stalking her in Edinburgh and threatening her and repeatedly phoning her. The offences are alleged to have occurred between June 1991 and 2013.
The court heard that a relationship developed between the couple who set up home in Livingston. They married and decided to make a new life in their Highland home in September 1991. Things went well initially, while they were settling in and renovating the cottage.
But then the dream started to turn sour. Arguments or assaults became a daily occurrence with Bembnista controlling everything and belittling her. He discouraged any friendship with neigbours and Mrs Islam couldn't go anywhere without his say-so. He even chose clothes she wanted from a mail order catalogue.
Recalling one of the incidents in which Bembnista took her to a doctor after being beaten by him and bitten on the legs by their two dogs, Mrs Islam said that she had, on the accused's instruction, to lie about it, saying she received the injures after being attacked by a stray dog.
She said that Kon, whose address was given as The Meadows, Thrumster, near Wick, had a short fuse and could become furious about trivial things. Mrs Islam said she disagreed with him over something when they were out in the car. on one occasion.
She told the jury: "He began to punch me, then stopped the car, lifted me out onto the side of the road, got back in, and drive off home. Later, he returned and took me home asking me if I was going to behave myself. I had to say I was sorry."
Mrs Islam said the accused would accuse her of being ungrateful. He had given her a beautiful home and looked after her and clothed her and she had done nothing for him.
She went on: "He said I didn't praise him enough and didn't listen to his stories and that was the way he spoke every day. He needed lots of praise to pacify him."
When they went to shop -all purchases were chosen by him - she was allocated a certain amount of time in the shop and if she exceeded it, she would have to return to the car to get extra time.
Mrs Aslim went on: "He would be speaking to me in the kitchen when I was cooking and after a time he would ask me if I was paying attention. When I said 'yes' even when I hadn't been listening, he would tell me to repeat what I said. He would tap me on the head and say - 'What goes on in there'. Then he would throw a drink in my face and spit in my face. There was some incident every day...there was no way of stopping things going wrong".
Mrs Aslim told of how she would wake up after being beaten unconscious and Kon would lock her in the cottage and drive away. "Sometimes I would wake up in my bed and he would drag me along the floor. If I passed out, it would make him angry and he would beat me all over again. He would hit me with anything that came to hand and on one occasion beat me with one of his leather slippers. He never held back when he was hitting me and usually would only stop when he became exhausted."
Asked by fiscal depute, Karen Smith if she had defended herself against the attacks, Mrs Islam said that Kon always wanted her to fight back, saying she had "no gumption", but it was impossible. He weighed 20st at the time and was 6ft 2 in height while she was 5ft 7in and weighed between seven-and-a half to eight stones.
Mrs Islam said that things had deteriorated to such an extent that she wanted to escape and ran away lots of time. On one occasion she had manged to almost reach the Portland Arms Hotel, in Lybster, in her nightdress at 2am in the morning, before Kon caught up with her, beat her and took her back home.
"He asked me if I was going to behave myself and commented that if anyone had seen me, it would have caused him a lot of problems and embarrassment. When I said I would go to the police, he just laughed and said they would do nothing to help me. Kon made me write down about how lucky I was to be where I lived and had to show him that, and say that I was happy to be taken care of by him. On one occasion, he wanted me to write to my father telling him not to visit. When I refused, Kon smashed my head against the dining room table then dragged me to the hallway, put me up against the wall and spat in my face."
Mrs Islam said that her mother had, unknown to her, died and been buried before she was aware of it. She was given the news by a policeman who called, saying that people had been trying to get in touch with her and had been phoning me although she had not received the calls.
Mrs Islam said that she continually had to lie to people that everything was fine when it wasn't.
She said that his violent behaviour took a strange turn when Kon took an interest in a first edition book of poetry belonging to her.. Kon proceeded to type it out and put my name to it. Bembnista also bought a piece of garden furniture and painted it to look like her and placed it at the side of the garden.
Mrs Islam who left Caithness in 2003 was asked by fiscal Miss Smith about where she thought her husband's ill-treatment of her, would end.
She replied: "I was sure it was going to end badly...I knew he was going to kill me. He had threatened to do so many times."
The trial continues. Bembnista who is profoundly deaf but has some lip-reading ability and can make out one-to-one conversations, has been given special permission to have his Jack Russell cross, with him in the dock, during the trial.