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Murder trial: court hears how woman was ‘scared and fearful’ of husband

A woman who was allegedly murdered by her estranged husband was “scared and fearful” of him after their marriage broke down, the Supreme Court heard yesterday.

Joseph Alecio, who was having a relationship with the woman, said she had told her husband she was leaving him and was “afraid” of his reaction.

Real Lishman, 43, is accused of murdering 32-year old Carolina Elizabeth Lishman.

Mrs Lishman died following a violent incident in the couple’s home in Apricot Court in Sir William Jackson Grove, also known as Gib V, in November 2017.

Mr Lishman denies a single charge of murder and claims his wife stabbed him first following a heated argument because he wanted to see her text messages.

Yesterday Mr Alecio told the court Mrs Lishman had been careful to hide those messages from her husband.

He told the court she was “scared because of how he [Mr Lishman] treated her”.

“The end result is that he did kill her, so there is an obvious reason that she was afraid of him,” Mr Alecio added.

On the day of the violent incident in November 2017, she had returned to her matrimonial home to collect her daughter.

Mrs Lishman sustained 12 stab wounds and was discovered by officers lying in a foetal position on the kitchen floor.

There was a knife in her right hand and a mobile phone on the floor next to her.
She died later in hospital.

Officers also found Mr Lishman, who had sustained several stab wounds, lying face down on the floor elsewhere in the flat.

In cross-examination by defence lawyer Christopher Finch, Mr Alecio agreed that his relationship with Mrs Lishman had been a “situation full of risk”.

Mr Finch said the defendant had hoped for “another chance” with his wife, but Mr Alecio replied that Mrs Lishman had told him “how aggressive he was with [her] in the past”.

And he added: “I am still in love with her.”

In other evidence yesterday, Chief Inspector Roy Perez from the Royal Gibraltar Police described the circumstances surrounding the case.

He said a “crime scene talks” and that the house was in darkness when officers arrived at the scene after neighbours were alerted by the couple’s six-year old daughter, who had witnessed the incident.

He told the court: “My only explanation is that their daughter had seen what she would have seen.”

“The lights might have been on and switched off post the event.”

Mr Finch asked if it was a possibility that Mrs Lishman stabbed her husband first.

“It is possible, but only three people know what happened that day, and one of them is no longer with us,” Mr Perez replied.

The jurors also heard evidence from forensic scientist, Andrew Davidson, who was requested to come to Gibraltar by the Royal Gibraltar Police.

Mr Davidson said there was no struggle in the home and that the last blood stains left on the tip of the blade belonged to the defendant.

The DNA on the middle of the blade belonged to both Mr Lishman and Mrs Lishman, he said.

He told the court his findings were “done independently” from the police report, but that the sequence of events “fits in with the findings” that Mr Lishman stabbed himself after Mrs Lishman was stabbed.

The prosecution case came to an end yesterday and the defence will open its case today.

Christian Rocca, the Director for Public Prosecutions, and Carl Ramagge appear for the Crown, while Leigh Debono appears alongside Mr Finch for the defence.

The case is being heard by Chief Justice Anthony Dudley.