Michael Quinn appears in Kiama Court in July 2013 charged with murder. Photo: Andy ZakeliA man accused of stabbing his lover to death in a jealous rage has testified that he was relieved to discover she was sleeping with someone else and was glad of the opportunity to end the volatile relationship.
Michael James Quinn was allegedly in a fury when he fatally stabbed his on-off girlfriend Cherie Vize, 25, in the neck, before turning the knife on himself outside the home he shared with his parents in Wollongong in July 2013.
Mr Quinn, who is a quadriplegic from the self-inflicted wounds, has pleaded not guilty to murder.
His defence team has argued that he stabbed Ms Vize accidentally and his mental state might have been substantially impaired at the time.
Giving evidence in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday, Mr Quinn said he was not “upset in the slightest” and could not stop laughing after he found out Ms Vize was having sex with another man less than two weeks before she died.
The 27-year-old said he had wanted to break up with Ms Vize but “didn’t know how to reject her in such a way that she wouldn’t feel rejected” and her infidelity provided him with an “excuse” to do so.
“It was such a relief after all this time that I were able to break from a truly dysfunctional relationship and she had the opportunity to go and spend some time with another person,” Mr Quinn said.
Ms Vize mother and best friend have previously given evidence that Mr Quinn was obsessive towards Ms Vize, turning up at her house uninvited, telephoning her at all hours of the day, monitoring her mobile phone messages and Facebook page and threatening self harm if she left him.
But Mr Quinn painted a different portrait of their nearly three-year relationship, saying he struggled to find time to pursue his own interests and studies because of Ms Vize’s demands on him.
He said he had never monitored her online activities or mobile, and it was she who had previously “begged” him not to leave her.
“I would say I was never possessive of her. I never tried to stop her from doing anything she wanted to do. I only ever tried to facilitate it,” Mr Quinn said.
The court heard Mr Quinn tried to contact Mz Vize dozens of times in the days following their break-up, including calling her 41 times within a 12-hour period.
“To be objective, it would probably seem obsessive,” Mr Quinn said.
Mr Quinn has been diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder and said some of the calls were part of a “morning and nightly ritual” that had replaced other repetitive behaviours.
On an occasion when he tried to contact her 21 times in eight hours, Mr Quinn said he had only wanted to speak to her about his sick grandfather.
“She’s the love of my life. She’s the only person who can ease any pain that’s in my head,” Mr Quinn said.
Forensic psychiatrists for both the Crown and defence have offered conflicting opinions on whether Mr Quinn would have been in control of his actions when Ms Vize was killed.
Mr Quinn told them that he had planned to kill himself, and Ms Vize was stabbed when she tried to wrest the knife from him.
Mr Quinn is due to continue giving evidence on Monday.
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