View Full Version : Assault claims

25-Aug-16, 07:52
Husband "someone who became angry very quickly" former wife tells court in video link

A WOMAN has described her former husband, accused of serious historic assaults on her, as "someone who got angry very quickly".

Marie Islam, 47, told a jury at Wick that prior to them moving from the Central Belt to Caithness, Constanty Bembmista was "possessive and jealous".

She also spoke of what he termed his "war wall" in their new home, photos and momentos of his army service, the length of which she questioned.

Bembmista denies a total of four charges of assaulting and stalking Mrs Islam between June 1991 and July 2013. The assaults were alleged to have occurred at Abbotswood Cottage - formerly Kyleburn Cottage, near Lybster village where the couple settled after marrying.

The accused, now living at The Meadows, in the hamlet of Thrumster, a few miles further north on the A99, pleads not guilty He is alleged to have on various occasions, repeatedly grabbed hold of Mrs Islam by her throat and her hair, struck her on the head with a dish, repeatedly punched and kicked her about the head and body, spat in her face, hit her with a wooden box and a book, thrown drinks in her face struck her head against a table and repeatedly pushed her out of a car.

The second assault charge alleges the Bembnista, 68, repeatedly slapped Mrs Islam about the head to her injury.

The remaining two charges accused him of stalking her in Edinburgh streets and threatening her and repeatedly phoning her.

Mrs Islam said that her marriage to Bembmista, who was described by Sheriff Andrew Berry to be "profoundly deaf" and was given permission by him, to have his Jack Russell Dog in the dock with him, had come about amid "strange circumstances".

Giving her evidence over a video link from Edinburgh Sheriff Court, she said their marriage was "more a question of who was in charge" but added: "There was no real violence when we live in the south of Scotland."

Questioned by fiscal Andrew Laing, Islam told the jury that Bembnista was 6ft 3inches and weighed 20 sts at one point.

She said that she was slightly built. They had moved to Caithness because he wanted to live in the country and property there was cheap.

Asked about Bembnista's army service Mrs Islam cast doubt on the accused's claim to have been in the service for 17 years because according to her calculations he could only have served for less that two years. .

She referred to his "war wall" in the hallway of Abbotswood Cottage, which displayed memorabelia from active service including knives, a gun and images of the first person he had killed. Mrs Islam reeled off Bembmista's army number and said that the reason she remembered it was that she was told "I was in his army now".

Mrs Islam said that Bembmista's last job before he retired was that of a bus driver but according to her information he lost that job because he was losing his temper with colleagues.

Asked by Mr Laing about the accused's disability, Mrs Islam described his loss of hearing as "slight" and that it had not got any worse during their marriage.

She described her divorce from him in 2007 as "a nightmare" adding "It took a long time to get to that point. I was trying to live apart from him prior to the divorce but he tracked me down". Mrs Islam remarried the following year.

Mrs Islam is expected to continue her evidence today. (Thursday) Defence solicitor Fiona MacDonald has lodged special defences of self defence and alibi.

Special facilities have been provided in the dock where the evidence is being keyed onto computer screen to allow Bembmista to follow proceedings.