Bath man on trial for murder says he cannot remember the moment he killed his fiancee
A Bath man on trial for the murder of his fiancee has said he has no memory of the moment when he killed her.
Paul Keene, 32, has admitted that he punched and strangled 28-year-old PhD student Carmen Miron Buchacra, known as Gaby, at their flat in Bennett Street on the night of Saturday, June 23, this year.
Although he accepts manslaughter he denies murder, saying he lost control and had no idea what he was doing and cannot remember what happened on the night of her death.
Today Bristol Crown Court heard that the couple, who had an 11-week-old daughter Eleanor together and were planning to get married in the autumn, had a troubled relationship with many of their problems stemming from the fact that Gaby was jealous of Keene's ex-wife Stephanie.
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Her uneasiness over their continuing friendship resulted in Keene having to completely clear out the marital home in Combe Down of any of their shared belongings, right down to the cutlery, and eventually selling the house when the divorce was final.
She also forced him to get his family and friends to "de-friend" Stephanie and her parents on Facebook in a bid to ensure that all ties were cut.
Keene, who gave evidence for the first time today, said that throughout their two-and-a-half year relationship they had constantly jumped to and from being incredibly happy and planning a future together to heated arguments where Gaby would threaten to leave.
He said: "It always seemed to be that as soon as an issue was sorted then she would find another one.
"Whether I was in the wrong or in the right I was always apologising. I was just trying to please her and stop any more arguments."
A number of text messages were read out in court which included ones after their daughter was born where Gaby told Keene she was leaving him and taking the baby to her native Mexico.
On the night of her death, she had reiterated that threat and told him that he need not come home from his work boules tournament because she did not want to see him ever again.
The violent argument which followed, where Keene beat her and choked her to death, was recorded in a voicemail message to Keene's friend Ben Jones and has already been played to the jury.
Today Keene said he had barely any memory of the walk back to the flat that night, the altercation in the flat or the hour and ten minutes after Gaby was killed before he dialled 999.
He said he could not explain why, after he strangled his fiancee, he sent a text message to her phone asking why she had stormed out of the house and then sent two messages from her phone to Mr Jones, claiming she was fine.
He admitted that it looked like he was trying to cover up the killing, but said he had no memory of doing those things.
"I don't remember a great deal", he said. "During that whole night I don't have any particular memories. I have got still images of bits and pieces, but I have no recollection of times or what I was thinking at the time."
Michael Fitton, prosecuting, rejected Keene's assertion that he could not remember the night and said he was using it as an excuse to avoid facing up to what he had done.
He said: "I don't accept that you can't remember it. Here are the events that took place and when you don't like what you read you don't want to answer for it.
"I'm suggesting that your denial of recollection is simply hiding from the reality."
He added: "It follows that if you are capable of walking, talking and sending a text message then you could have, at that moment, made a phone call to either Ben or the emergency services.
"This is a choice not to call the emergency services and a choice to send those text messages. I'm going to suggest to the jury in due course that this was a conscious choice to not call for help but to do something for your own benefit."
The trial continues.