Brother has 'no recollection' of killing EastEnders' Gemma McCluskie

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Media captionJurors shown CCTV pictures in Gemma McCluskie murder trial

The brother of former EastEnders actress Gemma McCluskie has "no recollection" of killing or dismembering her, the Old Bailey heard.

Tony McCluskie, 35, of Shoreditch, east London, denies murdering the 29-year-old and dumping her body parts. But he admits manslaughter in March 2012.

He told the court the actress had threatened him with a knife on March 1 after he left a tap in the bathroom on.

The next thing he remembers is waking up two days later, the jury heard.

Miss McCluskie's torso was found in Regent's Canal, days after she went missing.

Her limbs were found over the ensuing months before her head was found six months after her torso was found in a suitcase.

McCluskie's barrister Jeremy Dein QC, said the window cleaner's legal team will raise the defences of lack of intent and loss of control.

'Very angry'

During the row over the running tap the victim came at the defendant with a knife, swearing at him and demanding he moved out of their mother's flat, the jury heard.

He said: "She started screaming and shouting at me, again calling me all the names.

Image caption Gemma McCluskie's torso was dumped in Regent's Canal in March

"She came up the stairs, she was shouting, 'are you gonna go, are you gonna go, are you gonna go?'

"I turned round and she was standing there with a knife in her hand."

The victim threatened to stab him, his partner and have his partner's son taken into care, jurors heard.

The defendant said: "I got very angry, I just couldn't believe what I was hearing.

"All I remember is just grabbing her wrists. After that I have no recollection."

McCluskie, who has a history of using class B drugs and had smoked cannabis on the day of the argument, said the next thing he remembers is waking up two days later.

Denying he intended to hurt her he said: "I would not inflict any serious injury on anybody, let alone members of my family, my sister.

"I have tried countless times, even now I lie there all night and sit there all day trying to work out what happened, have the answers to every question that everyone has for me," he added.

'Shocking swearing'

He said he "took responsibility" for what he did, adding: "It was never my intention to cause her any serious harm, let alone cause her death".

In the days preceding the incident McCluskie said his mind was "all over the place" after breaking up with his partner and with his mother undergoing treatment for brain tumour.

He said his sister was "sometimes nice" but at other times "nasty".

He added: "There would be nastiness coming out, hostile, threats, shouting and name-calling, I would say about my appearance, the way I looked.

"The swear words that used to come out of her mouth, some of the stuff that I used to hear her say, it even shocked me, being a man".

The defendant said he would "feel really bad" when she said he did not care for their mother.

Miss McCluskie played Kerry Skinner, the niece of Ethel Skinner, in the BBC soap in 2001.

The trial continues.

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