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Thread: Assault trial: day 1

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Assault trial: day 1

    Woman claims to jury that husband "beat me while our hysterical dogs bit my legs"

    A WOMAN told a north court yesterday of how her hopes of a new life in idyllic setting in the Highlands were dashed after her former husband's personality changed.
    Marie Islam said that Konstanty Bembnista wanted to control everything and how he would lose his temper over trivial things and lash out at her.
    Mrs Aslam, referred to one horrifying incident in which he beat her while their two dogs became hysterical and began biting her legs after which she required medical treatment and a tetanus jag.
    Bembnista, 68 denies on indictment a serious of historic assaults on Ms Islam at their then home at Kylburn Cottage, near the village of Lybster. One of the charges allege that Bembnista pulled her from a car, there, to her injury. He also pleaded not guilty to stalking her in Edinburgh and threatening her and repeatedly phoning her. The incidents are alleged to have occurred between June 1991 and July 2013.
    Mrs Aslam, wept at one point while giving evidence over a video link at Wick Sheriff Court, on the opening day of the trial, told the jury how she had moved north with Bembnista in September 1991 describing the location as "a beautiful place" with "an incredible rural view". She had met the accused when he and his wife had befriended her and took her in following difficulties she had had with her family.
    Things developed and she and Bembnista, became involved in a relationship with her.. He left his wife and they set up home in Livingston and married before moving north at his instigation.
    Mrs Islam said that for the first year and a half, they were kept busy renovating their new home, but then went on to describe how things deteriorated between them and turned sour. Her then husband didn't want them having contact with their neighbours, particularly one of them who like, Bembnista, had been in the army.
    Mrs Islam said that the accused complained that he had been passed up for promotion which had gone to Sandhurst men like the neighbour. She said that during an isolated visit to one neighbour, Bembnista hogged the conversation and had talked about himself the whole night.
    Mrs Islam went on: "It was then I started to notice that everything was about him" and went on to tell the jury how their relationship began to go downhill.
    She said: "Bembnista had a short fuse and would get angry very quickly over trivial things and would say to me "what do you know about it...are you not listening to me". At first he would just say things like -"Pay attention". But later he would become very aggressive with me and our two dogs, for no reason.
    In random incidents he would take hold of anything near to hand, a plate or drink. He would hit me with the plate and throw a drink at me or punch me on the side of the head."
    Mrs Islam said that Bembnista would forbade her to have contact with, or visits from her relatives and would often make himself furious and would lash out at her. It reached the stage where she said her life was dominated by trying to pacify him and avoid things that would cause trouble.
    She added: "I was trying to work out how to be safe. When I learned my father had died, he said he was awful sorry but then went into a sermon saying he had brought it on himself with his drinking. When I got a call from a relative he wanted to know every single detail about it. He said that I didn't sound convincing and when I said I was happy here and having a good time, he would finish up by saying "you will have to do better next time." That happened with all my phone calls. He thought I would be talking about him."
    Mrs Aslam told the court of an incident in which Bambnista hit her with a cigarette box when she was phoning her mother after her father had died.
    Mrs Aslam continued: "My mother had just been diagnosed with secondary Alzheimers. It was painful. She did not know who I was and was talking about other things. I was upset but Bambnista wasn't interested. He took the cigarette box and hit me over the head with it and started beating me on the side of my head and back. He was standing over me in the sitting room...the dogs were eating my legs.. I moved down the hallway to try to get away from him but he kept on beating me until he became tired and then walked out into the garden, leaving me where I was on the floor."
    Mrs Aslam said she managed to get into the bathroom to clean herself up because"there was lots of blood".
    She added that the accused took her to a doctor to get a tetanus jag but she couldn't report the attack because he was with her the whole time.
    The trial, now expected to last two weeks continues tomorrow (Wednesday)
    Glasgow-born Bembnista, who is profoundly deaf, was given special permission to have his Jack Russell cross, Rambo, with him in the dock.. Evidence was imput on a screen which he monitored to enable him to follow proceedings.
    Last edited by Nwicker60; 15-Mar-16 at 22:10.

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