An Aberdeen woman allegedly murdered by her boyfriend claimed she had been pressed up against a wall by her throat until she passed out in an assault weeks before she died, a court has heard.
Kirsty McLeish told a murder trial that her friend Neomi Smith let her know she had been assaulted by Keith Rizzo following an argument in May last year.
Miss McLeish, 22, told the trial she was out with the couple at a hotel in Brechin the following day on May 10.
She and Miss Smith then chatted about what allegedly happened the previous night.
Miss McLeish told the court: “She said her and Keith had been out at a pub in Brechin. He had got drunk and she remained sober.
“They had started arguing and gone home. Once at her flat, he had pressed her up against a wall by her throat until she passed out.
“She said once she had come to they then went to bed.”
Rizzo, 23, is on trial accused of murdering Miss Smith, who is originally from Aberdeen.
He is claimed to have compressed her neck as well as repeatedly striking her on the head and body with knives.
He also faces a separate charge of earlier assaulting the 23-year-old to her injury and danger of life.
Giving evidence at the High Court in Glasgow, Miss McLeish claimed to have noticed “bruises” on her friend’s neck.
Miss McLeish then alleged there was another incident around a week later.
She recalled being at Miss Smith’s flat when Rizzo returned shouting his girlfriend was an “embarrassment”.
Miss McLeish then claimed there was “very loud” arguing between the couple after Miss Smith told Rizzo to get out.
The witness alleged she went on to see Miss Smith’s mirrored wardrobe had been smashed. Jurors were told Rizzo also hurled his iPhone towards Miss Smith.
Miss McLeish told the court: “I asked why he had done that. He sat on the sofa with his head in his hands. He started telling Neomi he loved her and that he did not want it to be like this.”
Rizzo claimed he was going to kill himself. Miss McLeish alleged she was then hit by him.
After initially hearing the couple continue to row in the stairwell, the witness recalled it going “very quiet”.
Miss McLeish said: “I saw Neomi sitting against the wall as if she was just coming to from passing out. She was struggling to realise I was there. She had a massive bump on her head.”
The court heard Miss McLeish was in touch with Rizzo on social media after he allegedly struck her.
She claimed he apologised for his “monstrous behaviour”.
She told jurors how she met the pair heading to Miss Smith’s Brechin flat around 11pm on June 8. Prosecutor Duncan McPhie asked the witness if she spoke to Miss Smith.
She replied: “I asked how she and Keith were doing. She told me they were arguing quite a lot and that they were going home to have a break from the pub.”
Mr McPhie said: “What was her mood like?” Miss McLeish said: “Still happy, but annoyed because they had been arguing.”
Prosecutors claim Rizzo murdered Miss Smith the next day.
Rizzo’s friend Cameron Saunders later told the court how the accused “stormed” out of Hudson’s Bar in Brechin last June 8 after seeing Miss Smith dancing with another man.
Mr Saunders, 19, said Rizzo appeared “angry” as he looked towards his partner and the other man.
The witness said: “He then pushed the table with some bottles on it that fell.”
Mr McPhie asked: “What did Neomi Smith do after Keith Rizzo stormed out the pub?”
Mr Saunders said: “I think she was crying and saying: ‘This is what I have to put up with’.”
The witness said he met Rizzo again that night and he told him: “Yeah, I am fine.”
The court was told yesterday that Rizzo and Miss Smith has started dating in April 2019.
Rizzo denies the charges.
The trial, before Lady Rae, continues.