A man accused of murdering his girlfriend in Brechin hit her head against a concrete wall and broke his female friend’s tooth in an incident just weeks before her death, a court has heard.
Keith Rizzo, 23, denies murdering his then girlfriend Neomi Smith, also 23, at her flat by choking and stabbing her on June 9 last year.
The pair’s friend Kirsty McLeish, 22, told his trial at Glasgow High Court on Monday that Rizzo had threatened to kill himself before lashing out at the pair during an argument.
The alleged incident took place at Ms Smith’s flat at around 1am on May 19.
Ms McLeish, who is an early years practitioner, told the court the argument “escalated” after all three returned from the Brechin Arms pub.
He said: “He told her he was going to kill himself and it would be her fault. He said she would have to explain to his parents why.
“Neomi grabbed him and he was just repeating that he was going to kill himself and that was why he was leaving the flat.
“Keith fell to the ground first and Neomi got on top of him to try to stop him from leaving.
“They both started punching each other. It became very violent.”
Ms McLeish added that when she tried to intervene by standing in front of the door to block the exit, Rizzo attacked her.
“He asked me to move but when I refused, he struck me across the cheek,” she said.
“It caused bruising on my right cheek and a chip in one of my front teeth.
“Neomi managed to get up and chased him when he left.
“I could hear them in the communal stairwell shouting at each other. Everything then went very quiet.
“I ran down and saw Neomi sitting against the wall as if she was just coming to from passing out.
“She was struggling to see who I was and had a big egg on the side of her head. A very large bump.
“She said Keith had continued saying he was going to kill himself and pushed her against the wall.
“There was a hole in the wall and some of the concrete was on the ground.”
Ms McLeish also said Ms Smith had earlier confided in her that Rizzo had “pressed her up against a wall by her throat” causing her to “pass out” in an incident on May 9.
Rizzo, who denies all charges, is also accused of assaulting three former partners and threatening another sometime between December 2014 and May 2019.
In the first day of the trial on Friday, former partner Mary Saville, 23, had told the court Rizzo compressed her neck, pushed her into a mirror, and grabbed her in three separate incidents between 2014 and 2016.
Another former partner Murron Wallace, 19, described him as “very nasty and manipulative” and said Rizzo followed her after their relationship ended.
The full charge states Rizzo attacked Ms Smith, compressing her neck thereby restricting her breathing.
He is then said to have repeatedly struck the care worker on the head and body with knives.
He is also accused of assaulting Miss Smith to her injury and danger of life between May 5 and June 8 2019.
The trial continues.