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Carlisle man admits “violent controlling and coercive” conduct towards ex

Carlisle Crown Court

A CARLISLE man accused by his former partner of violent and controlling conduct during their seven-month relationship has admitted the offending part-way through his trial.

Michael Karl Celmins, 29, had previously denied three charges. One of controlling or coercive behaviour towards his girlfriend Dionne Winthrop; an actual bodily harm assault on her friend Sarah Clayton; and threatening Miss Clayton with a Stanley knife during a vehicle journey in the city.

Celmins had gone on trial at Carlisle Crown Court, but this afternoon (TUES) admitted all three crimes.
Jurors had earlier watched footage of an interview Miss Winthrop gave to a police officer after plucking up the courage to report her ex’s illegal activity.

She described “screaming” and feeling dizzy on one occasion as Celmins put his hands around her neck and mouth, before gouging her eyes.

On a later date, she said Celmins threatened her with a bottle of acid he kept in the house in case of intruders, telling her: “I’ll murder you.”

“He was tipping the acid,” she recalled. “I was screaming, ‘stop it, stop it, stop it’. He was going, ‘I’m going to make you blind’.”

Amid what the prosecution said was “violent controlling and coercive behaviour”, Miss Winthrop said Celmins had told her: “If you say anything to anyone, you’ll get what’s coming to you, and your family.” But police were later alerted.

Asked by the police officer to describe their relationship, Miss Winthrop replied: “Horrible, disgusting.”
“She was to tell police,” prosecutor Charlotte Kenny had earlier said as she opened the case to jurors, “that Mr Celmins fell in love with a happy, bouncy girl, as she described herself, but ‘he sucked it all away’.”

Celmins, of Reeth Road, Carlisle, was remanded in custody by Judge James Adkin, and is due to be sentenced at the crown court on July 22.

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