Murder accused Paul Mulvihill says stabbing of Rachelle Yeo an accident

Re-enactment: Murder accused Paul Mulvihill. Photo: Edwina PicklesPaul Darren Mulvihill stood before the jury in a smart grey suit and a bright pink tie and used a wooden ruler to demonstrate on his solicitor how his ex-lover came to be accidentally stabbed in the side with a stainless-steel kitchen knife. The former rugby player told the Supreme Court he grabbed hold of Rachelle Yeo’s right hand, which held the knife, and that during a brief struggle she fell backwards and pulled him down on top of her.

He said that as they hit the floor the knife went into her right side.

”I could feel it hit something hard,” he said.

”When I looked at the knife again it had blood on it.”

It was an important moment in the trial of Mr Mulvihill, who is charged with Ms Yeo’s murder.

The 46-year-old told the NSW Supreme Court that he and Ms Yeo, 31, began struggling when she came at him with the knife after an argument at her northern beaches home on July 16, 2012.

Mr Mulvihill said that during this argument, Ms Yeo, his former work colleague and lover, had slapped him hard in the face. He had responded by pushing her hard into the unit’s kitchen.

”As I pushed her she turned,” he said. ”I couldn’t see what her hand was doing … but when she turned around she confronted me with a very large stainless-steel knife. She said, ‘Get the f— out of here’.

”She lashed out at me, towards my right chest area [with the

knife]. I brought my right hand up to defend myself and the knife cut me at the bottom of my palm.

”When she slashed me I thought, ‘I’m in massive trouble here’.”

He said that after the initial stabbing there was another struggle during which he punched Ms Yeo in the face and managed to wrest the knife from her grasp.

Mr Mulvihill said he put the weapon down nearby, got up and started to move away when he saw that Ms Yeo was reaching for it once more.

He said that during the ensuing struggle he managed to get on top of the bleeding woman, telling her repeatedly, ”let it go, let it go”.

It was as he was trying to stand that the second stab wound, this time to Ms Yeo’s neck, occurred, Mr Mulvihill said.

”I was pushing down on her to use her as leverage to get up and the knife is [horizontal] between us,” he said.

”Then suddenly the pressure was gone … she turned her head to the right and the knife went into her neck.

”The blood was pouring out … I looked at her and I knew that it was bad. I’ve grabbed her right hand and said, ‘f—, put your hand on it, put your hand on it’.

”I would never ever dream of hurting anyone … I just panicked. I knew I shouldn’t be there … I saw the balcony and I just walked over, put my hand on the rail and swung myself over.”

During cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Maria Cinque put it to Mr Mulvihill that he had lain in wait for Ms Yeo that night to ”effect the final closure”.

He denied this.

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