Man assaulted girlfriend, then confessed to his mother

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The Independent Online

A betting shop manager brutally assaulted his girlfriend before going home and confessing to his mother, a court heard today.







Maria Colaco, 50, was left with car crash-type injuries and died seven days after the alleged attack on New Year's Day by Andrew Gaffney, the Old Bailey was told.



Miss Colaco, a barmaid, had previously told friends that father-of-four Gaffney was "the one" and she wanted to marry him, said prosecutor Duncan Penny.



The court heard that after the alleged attack the defendant went home and said: "Mum, I have hit Maria many times. The police will be coming round shortly to arrest me."



Gaffney, 39, of Barnet, north London, denies murder.



The court heard the couple had been "in the early stages of a relationship" when Miss Colaco was killed.



She had been working at the Winter's pub in Finchley on New Year's Eve and left at 2am with her boyfriend, who was said to have been "very drunk", to go to her flat, where a neighbour heard a row.



Jurors were told Gaffney later tried to ring his son, who texted him: "What's happened?"



Mr Penny said: "What had happened was that at that address his father had launched a brutal, drunken and ultimately fatal attack on the woman with whom he had left the public house.



"As a result the woman's New Year proved to be very short lived indeed."



The court heard that after Gaffney went home and spoke to his mother Joan, he went to sleep.



Mrs Gaffney was concerned for his girlfriend's welfare and tried to call her and the next day after her son woke up told him he should find out how she was, jurors were told.



He returned to the flat and called 999 to say Miss Colaco was "seriously injured" and that he had assaulted her.



Paramedics discovered her lying bloodied and bruised to her face and body and she was taken to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north west London, where she died on January 8.



Miss Colaco had suffered brain injuries similar to those caused by traffic accidents or falls from more than 3m (10ft), jurors were told.



Her blood was found on a pair of brown Rockport shoes found at Gaffney's home, the court heard.



Mr Penny told jurors that after his arrest, the defendant said: "I deserve all the hurt I get after what I have done."