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Angelika Trial- Priest Testifies 2007-04-05

Posted by clype in Articles of Interest, Glasgow.
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[Picture of Fr.Gerry Nugent]Giving evidence in the stand, Fr.Gerard Nugent, 63, told the jury in the Angelika Kluk murder trial that the man accused of murdering her had quickly won his trust and held a key for the church.

Fr.Nugent, who said he had resigned from the parish two weeks ago, explained that he had run an ‘open door policy’ at the church, and about 20 people stayed in ‘The Chapel House’, including homeless people and visiting priests from Africa.

He said that Angelika Kluk arrived in 2005 and asked him if he knew of a parishioner who might take her in, so he showed her a room in ‘The Chapel House’ and asked her if she wanted to stay there.

‘She was delighted,’ he told the court.

‘You know, skipping round.’

Fr.Nugent said he did not charge her any rent because he knew she was a student planning to return to Gdansk, and she helped around the church. He said:

‘I was full of admiration for her because it would seem to me she was up at six o’clock in the morning having some kind of breakfast, then going to work in the city centre until maybe three or four.

‘She very much integrated herself in the community because she was a fairly serious student.

‘She did love life, she did love Scotland.

‘She would come down to the kitchen and if she thought any jobs wanted doing she would do them.’

He described her as devout and ‘very friendly’, adding:

‘She just loved talking to people’.

He told the court:

‘Oh yes, I admired her; she had a great vitality and desire to live and was good to talk to.’

Asked if he had met a man called Patrick Mclaughlin, Fr.Nugent replied:

‘Yes, that’s Patrick,’ pointing at Mr.Peter Tobin in the dock.

When told that the man who introduced himself as Patrick McLaughlin was Peter Tobin, he added:

‘Yes, I was surprised to see that; I read it in the papers.’

He said that a homeless charity called ‘Loaves and Fishes’ wanted to paint a room in the church.

‘One day I came into church and was told, “This is Pat, he has volunteered to do the painting”.’

After that ‘Patrick’ went on to do other work. Then he began turning up every day. He was not paid, but was given cigarettes, and a key to the chapel house.

Prosecuting Advocate Depute Ms.Dorothy Bain asked the priest:

‘He quite quickly gained your trust if you gave him the key?’

Yes, he was great,’ replied Fr.Nugent.

The priest was also shown photographs of the hatch that led to where Angelika’s body was found on 2006-09-29.

He said he had ‘no idea’ that it opened.

Fr.Nugent admitted he had abused the position of trust he was in, but he denied being in love with Angelika despite their having sexual relations ‘about three or four times’.

He said:

‘I felt shame — I was disgusted at myself; I knew I was wrong and I wanted to make it right.

‘I knew I was doing wrong and I was guilty.

‘I felt terrible and I knew it had to stop — so that part of the relationship stopped.

‘I felt peace within myself when it was over. I still had the same feelings for her in terms of admiration and in my opinion the relationship was better because I was aware nothing was going wrong.’

The court heard he went on to visit Angelika in Poland in 2006-02.

The priest said he last saw Angelika on Sunday 2006-09-24 in the garage of ‘The Chapel House’ with Mr.Tobin.

Mr.Tobin — known to Fr.Nugent as ‘Pat Mclaughlin’ — was building a shed and Angelika was helping paint it.

Prosecuting Advocate Depute Ms.Dorothy Bain read Fr.Nugent part of a statement he had given to the police in which he said:

‘At about 2.30 that afternoon I popped into the garage and saw “Pat” and “Angela”.

“Pat” said to me he was getting great help from his “apprentice”.’

The priest also described the night Angelika’s lover Martin Macaskill and her sister Aneta called in police after the student’s disappearance.

He said he went to his room in ‘The Chapel House’ to pray.

‘I was not dealing with the situation very well,’ he said.

‘I was just “round the bend” with the whole thing.’

Fr.Nugent recounted Mr.Tobin’s conversation with the first police officers on the scene.

Mr.Tobin had said someone had come to collect Angelika and that she had gone to play golf.

‘He said she was going out and whoever she was going out with had a nice car,’ the priest said.

Fr.Nugent also told the court that he did not get to bed that night, and that it was the last time he saw Mr.Tobin.

‘After the mass the next morning, several times that morning, I phoned “Pat’s” number because I was getting worried about him,’ he said.

‘I wondered if it had been getting too much the night before.

‘He never came back at all.’

Fr.Nugent was repeatedly accused of lying by Mr.Tobin’s Defence Counsel Mr.Donald Findlay QC when he claimed he knew nothing of the trapdoor just feet from his confessional.

Mr.Tobin’s Defence Counsel asked the priest:

‘Father, however difficult it may be, is there something you wish to tell us about the death of Angelika Kluk?’

Fr.Nugent said:

‘I know nothing about the death or the circumstances of her death.’

He also denied he was consumed by jealousy and rage after he found out that Angelika was having an affair with a married man.

The priest said he was deeply concerned about her after their sexual relationship and also admitted a sexual relationship with musician Ms.Sarah Howie who played in the church.

Mr.Tobin’s Defence Counsel read the court words written by Angelika, in which she said:

‘I sometimes feel I was always like a nice teddy bear to Gerry.

‘When it was interesting to play with me, everything was OK, but when I stopped to admire him as much as before he just put me in the dark closet.’

Mr.Tobin’s Defence Counsel challenged Fr.Nugent about ‘rummaging’ in Angelika’s room in ‘The Chapel House’.

The priest denied this and said there were church items stored there.

Mr.Tobin’s Defence Counsel said:

‘On one occasion you not only went into her room, you were rummaging in her bin. What were you looking for?’

Fr.Nugent said:

‘I was not looking for anything. It was what I saw.’

Mr.Tobin’s Defence Counsel said:

‘You were looking for, and found, evidence of sexual activity, namely a condom.’

Fr.Nugent: ‘I wasn’t looking in the bin, I saw it.

‘That is when I thought there must be a relationship going on here.’

Mr.Tobin’s Defence Counsel said:

‘Isn’t it the truth Father, particularly after you discovered the nature of the relationship, a sexual relationship, between Martin Macaskill and Angelika you were consumed by jealousy?’

‘I certainly wasn’t angry and I wasn’t jealous,’ Fr.Nugent said.

Mr.Tobin’s Defence Counsel said the priest became cold and hardly spoke to Angelika after this.

‘You were angry with her, rage fuelled by jealousy and no doubt fortified from time to time by drink,’ he said.

Fr.Nugent denied this. He admitted telling Ms.Rebecca Dordi, a student from St.Petersburgh, about the condom but denied it was a betrayal of trust.

Jurors saw photos of a hatch in the church floor, near the confessional, which led to Angelika’s body on 2006-09-29.

Fr.Nugent said he did not know it was there.

The trial heard Ms.Sarah Howie, with whom Fr.Nugent said he had had a sexual relationship, had told police of a search of St.Patrick’s for secret passages, after which she had told Fr.Nugent of the hatch.

Earlier, Fr.Nugent admitted telling Rebecca Dordi — described as a devout woman with links to St Patrick’s — to conceal information from the police.

Although Fr. Gerry Nugent, told the jury that his sexual relationship in the summer of 2005 with Angelika Kluk was his responsibility, the court has now heard he had told police officers that it was the 23-year-old who instigated the affair.

Defence counsel Mr.Donald Finlay QC asked Fr.Nugent:

‘You are not in any way suggesting here on oath that this girl instigated it, she was somehow the driving force?’

The priest replied it was ‘a mutual thing’ with the woman he called “Angela”.

The lawyer said:

‘If anybody then sought to blame a girl who could not speak for herself, it would be a despicable act in extreme.

‘A despicable act by a despicable individual and coward and a liar.

‘Who am I talking about Fr.Nugent?’

The priest replied:

‘You are talking about me.’

Defence counsel then read from a statement Fr.Nugent had given to detectives on 2006-10-01. It said:

‘She felt more strongly about me than I did about her and it was her who instigated everything. It was not me.’

Fr.Nugent agreed he had said that and that it differed from his evidence.

The trial heard that the day after Angelika was reported missing, Fr.Gerry called Mr.Dames, a Catholic Church press officer, to St Patrick’s.

The priest said he could not remember the meeting.

Defence counsel told how Mr.Dames later gave a statement to police in which he said Fr.Nugent told him he ‘no longer gave a damn about her’.

‘I cannot remember saying those words,’ the priest said.

‘I probably said it when I had a drink and that is the reason I cannot remember.’

‘No need to give a damn because she was dead. You knew she was dead,’ the Defence counsel suggested.

‘I know nothing about the circumstances of “Angela’s” death,’ the priest replied.

The priest was questioned by Prosecuting Advocate Depute Ms.Dorothy Bain who said that church musician Ms.Sarah Howie denied having a sexual relationship with him, as he had claimed in his earlier evidence.

  • The priest agreed there had been no sexual intercourse but insisted there had been intimacy.

The Trial Continues.

Previously:

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