Into the Darkest Corner

By: Elizabeth Haynes

Lancaster Crown Court

R-v-BRIGHTMAN

Wednesday 11 May 2005

Morning Session

Before:

THE HONORABLE MR. JUSTICE NOLAN

MR. MACLEAN Would you please state your full name?

MR. BRIGHTMAN Lee Anthony Brightman.

MR. MACLEAN Thank you. Now, Mr. Brightman, you had a relationship with Miss Bailey, is that correct?

MR. BRIGHTMAN Yes.

MR. MACLEAN For how long?

MR. BRIGHTMAN I met her at the end of October in 2003. We were seeing each other until the middle of June last year.

MR. MACLEAN And how did you meet?

MR. BRIGHTMAN At work. I was working on an operation and I happened to meet her through the course of that.

MR. MACLEAN And you formed a relationship?

MR. BRIGHTMAN Yes.

MR. MACLEAN You said that the relationship ended in June. Was that a mutual decision?

MR. BRIGHTMAN Things had been going wrong for a while. Catherine was very jealous of the time I spent away from her working. She was convinced I was having an affair.

MR. MACLEAN And were you?

MR. BRIGHTMAN No. My job takes me away from home for days at a time, and the nature of it means that I can’t tell anyone, not even my girlfriend, where I am or when I’ll be home.

MR. MACLEAN Did your time away from Miss Bailey cause arguments between you?

MR. BRIGHTMAN Yes. She would check my cell phone for messages from other women, demand to know where I’d been, who I’d been seeing. When I got back from a job, all I wanted to do was forget about work and relax a bit. It started to feel like I never had the chance to do that.

MR. MACLEAN So you ended the relationship?

MR. BRIGHTMAN No. We had fights sometimes, but I loved her. I knew she had some emotional problems. When she went for me, I always told myself that it wasn’t her fault.

MR. MACLEAN What do you mean by “emotional problems?”

MR. BRIGHTMAN Well, she told me she had suffered from anxiety in the past. The more time I spent with her, the more I saw that coming out. She would go out drinking with her friends, or drink at home, and when I got home she would start an argument and lash out at me.

MR. MACLEAN Just with regard to the emotional problems, I would like to ask you about that further. Did you, over the course of your relationship, see any evidence that Miss Bailey would harm herself at times of emotional stress?

MR. BRIGHTMAN No. Her friends had told me that she had cut herself in the past.

MR. LEWIS Objection, Your Honor. The witness was not asked about the opinions of Miss Bailey’s friends.

MR. JUSTICE NOLAN Mr. Brightman, please keep to the questions you are asked. Thank you.

MR. MACLEAN Mr. Brightman, you mentioned that Miss Bailey would “lash out” at you. Can you explain what you mean by “lash out”?

MR. BRIGHTMAN She would shout, push me, slap me, kick me. That kind of thing.

MR. MACLEAN She was violent toward you?

MR. BRIGHTMAN Yes. Well, yes. She was.

MR. MACLEAN On how many occasions, would you say?

MR. BRIGHTMAN I don’t know. I didn’t keep count.

MR. MACLEAN And what did you generally do, on these occasions when she “lashed out” at you?

MR. BRIGHTMAN I would walk away from it. I deal with that enough at work; I don’t need it when I get home.

MR. MACLEAN And were you ever violent toward her?

MR. BRIGHTMAN Only the last time. She had locked me in the house and hidden the key somewhere. She went mad at me. I’d been working on a particularly difficult job and something inside me snapped. I hit her back. It was the first time I’d ever hit a woman.

MR. MACLEAN The last time—what date are you talking about, exactly?

MR. BRIGHTMAN It was in June. The thirteenth, I think.

MR. MACLEAN Would you take us through that day?

MR. BRIGHTMAN I stayed the night before at Catherine’s house. I was on duty that weekend so I left for work before Catherine woke up. When I came back to her house that evening she was at home and she had been drinking. She accused me of spending the day with another woman—the same thing I heard over and over again. I took it for a while, but after a couple of hours I had had enough. I went to walk away but she had double-locked the front door. She was screaming and swearing at me, over and over again, slapping me with her hands, scratching my face. I pushed her backward, just enough to get her away. Then she just threw herself at me again and I hit her.

MR. MACLEAN How did you hit her, Mr. Brightman? Was it a punch, a slap?

MR. BRIGHTMAN I hit her with a closed fist.

MR. MACLEAN I see. And what happened then?

MR. BRIGHTMAN She didn’t stop; she just yelled louder and came at me again. So I hit her again. I guess it was probably harder. She fell over backward and I went to see if she was all right, to help her up. I think I must have trodden on her hand. She screamed and yelled at me and threw something. It was the key to the front door.

MR. MACLEAN What did you do next?

MR. BRIGHTMAN I took the key, unlocked the front door and left.

MR. MACLEAN What time was that?

MR. BRIGHTMAN It must have been about a quarter past seven.

MR. MACLEAN And when you left her, what condition was she in?

MR. BRIGHTMAN She was still shouting and screaming.

MR. MACLEAN Was she injured, bleeding?

MR. BRIGHTMAN I think she may have been bleeding.

MR. MACLEAN Could you elaborate, Mr. Brightman?

MR. BRIGHTMAN She had some blood on her face. I don’t know where it came from. It wasn’t a lot of blood.

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