View Full Version : Denies wanting wife back

01-Sep-16, 19:38
Claims to jury she assaulted him

AN alleged wife abuser admitted today he had employed a private investigator to trace his wife's whereabouts after she left him.

But Konstanty Bembnista, 68, denied that he wanted to get Marie Islam back and claimed he was seeking grounds for the divorce that she had left him for another man, in August 2003 and also keen to make certain she was getting on fine in her new life.

He also said he had no knowledge of a CD, fiscal Andrew Laing said he had left on her doorstep in Edinburgh. It included the lyrics -"I'm never gonna leave your side" and "I won't let you go" and was accompanied by a note from the accused, saying he missed her.

This emerged, yesterday, in cross-examination by Mr Laing on the seventh day of Bembnista's trial.

He is charged on indictment, with serial assault on his former wife Marie Islam at their cottage home in Lybster. Bembnista,is also charged with stalking her in Edinburgh and threatening her. The incidents which the accused denies,are alleged to have occurred between 1991 and 2003.

Bembnista has rejected evidence that he subjected Mrs Islam to regular beatings and kept her virtually a prisoner in their then home and under a special defence of self defence, accuses her of assaulting him during her 'explosive' mood swings in the cottage and while they were out in the car.

Mr Laing asked Bemnista if he had any witnesses to such incidents and the accused replied: "No.". The fiscal described them as "a figment" of Bembnista's imagination.

Bembnista also denied he was the cause of Mrs Islam having to give her harrowing evidence because he wouldn't accept responsibility for his actions.and also rejected Mr Laing's suggestion that he had "added insult to injury" by claiming she had abused him.

Mr Laing: "Your suggestion that you acted in self defence is laughable and insulting to the victim of your abuse.

Bemnista: "I believe that it is insulting to me that these proceeding are in place in the first instance."

Asked if he had apologised for his actions, he replied: "She never apologised to me for assaulting me."

Bemnista told the court he had no idea, initially, that his wife had left him. The last he had seen of her was when she went to her bedroom to tidy it up. The next morning he was shocked when he discovered she had gone..

The accused also stated he knew nothing about a note Mrs Islam was said to have left, in the cottage, explaining her decision and was shocked when she subsequently took out an interdict banning him from contacting or approaching her, in Edinburgh.

Mr Laing: I am struggling to understand how you failed to appreciate that Mrs Islam had run away from you and didn't want you in her life."

Bembnista said that he had asked himself that question many times and had no indication as to why she was leaving.

"It came as a total shock" he added.

Mr Laing: "I don't understand your evidence. Your wife simply disappears like a puff of smoke and you wait until the following day before contacting the police. It just doesn't ring true."

Bemnista, now living in Lancaster, replied: "It makes sense to me, sir."

The trial is to resume on Monday.