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I snapped at threats, Aoife accused says

A 25-YEAR-old Laois man has told his murder trial that he would have said anything to get his garda interviews finished when he described the woman he killed as a complication’.

Robert Corbet was being cross examined by the State at the Central Criminal Court, where he is on trial charged with murdering the 30-year-old nanny.

He said he lost control and couldn’t stop gripping Aoife Phelan (inset) around her neck after she threatened to ruin his life.

Mr Corbet, of Capoley, Sheffield Cross, Laois, has pleaded not guilty to murder. However, he has admitted her manslaughter between October 25 and November 7, 2012.

The trial has heard that they had met a few months earlier and that she had soon told him that she was pregnant with his child. However, a post-mortem has shown that she wasn’t.

“I asked her straight out about the pregnancy and an argument broke out,” he said.

“She started making threats that she’d ruin my life and my business if I didn’t face up to what would be a pregnancy.”

He said she was referring to the haulage business that his late father had built. “I was actually afraid. I just saw red.”

He said that Ms Phelan was speaking quite aggressively.

“It was like a protective instinct went off in me,” he continued. “To hear someone threaten everything you worked for, everything you are, I just snapped.”

His barrister, Conor Devally SC, asked him what his state of mind was at this stage.

“Very surreal,” he replied. “It felt like an out-of-body experience. I was watching this unfold.”

The trial continues before Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan and a jury.