Murder accused admits ex-girlfriend's manslaughter
- Credit: Archant
A man accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend has admitted unlawfully killing the 33-year-old mother-of-two.
Charles Jessop is accused of murdering Clare Nash at her flat in Brickfields Avenue, Newmarket, in what prosecutors claim was a "revenge attack", on January 16 last year.
The 30-year-old mechanic, a former trainee jockey, took the stand during his trial at Ipswich Crown Court on Wednesday.
Jessop is accused of murdering Miss Nash by stabbing and strangling her to death in the toilet of her flat.
On Wednesday, before giving evidence, he pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of manslaughter.
Jessop, of Bakers Row, Newmarket, but originally from Harlow, told the court that, during childhood, he had witnessed "worsening violence" by his father against his mother.
Under examination by defence barrister Keir Monteith QC, Jessop said he was subsequently unable to moderate his own behavioural problems, adding: "It was uncontrollable; it was built-up, it was pent-up aggression."
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Mr Monteith asked Jessop why he declined to attend group domestic violence perpetrator sessions following a previous conviction for assaulting another ex-girlfriend.
Jessop replied: "I didn't want to be sat there, reminded of the fact that I had now, myself, become a domestic abuser."
Jessop told the court that alcohol became a trigger for his anger, but that he was eventually able to moderate his drinking until it was "under control".
Mr Monteith highlighted two occasions when Jessop told the probation service he was concerned about his feelings and that that there was something wrong with him.
Jessop said he eventually sought help from his GP for anxiety and depression, and was prescribed the antidepressant drug Citalopram.
Mr Monteith asked why Jessop had, after killing Miss Nash, made reference to schizophrenia, psychosis and needing to be "locked up in Broadmoor".
Jessop said those were the "extreme senses" he felt as a result of taking the drug – the side effects of which, he claimed, had caused the "illusion" of being in a video game in the lead up to killing Miss Nash.
In opening the case, prosecutor Mark Cotter QC told jurors that Jessop was "seeking to raise issues as to the state of his mind" and would claim he was affected by the antidepressant drug Citalopram.
Jessop, who denies murder, is expected to return to the stand as the trial continues on Thursday.