Monday, September 20, 2021

Eoin Reynolds

Murder accused Renato Gehlen told his wife Anne Colomines, “when someone loves so much, it is the worst thing in the world” two days before she died from knife wounds at the home they shared, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Detective Garda Niamh Coates told prosecution counsel Karl Finnegan BL that she found Facebook messages on Mr Gehlen’s telephone in which he repeatedly told his wife he loved her and said: “A marriage is two imperfect people who do not give up on each other.”

Two days before Ms Colomines’ death Mr Gehlen wished her a “happy wedding anniversary” and told her: “I won’t give up on you so don’t give up on me. Please don’t give up on me because I’m slowly giving up on myself.”

Mr Gehlen (39), a Brazilian national, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his 37-year-old French wife at the apartment they shared in Dorset Square, Gardiner Street, Dublin 1 on October 25th 2017.


The court also heard that on the night Ms Colomines died, she exchanged 296 messages with a new boyfriend she had met a few months earlier in France. The exchange ended at 23:06, Det Gda Coates said. Emergency responders arrived to find Ms Colomines’ lifeless body in her bedroom less than 30 minutes later.

Policing analyst Feargal McCauley said that one day before Ms Colomines’ death Mr Gehlen’s phone was used to search for his wife’s’ French boyfriend’s name on Facebook and to send him a friend request. The witness agreed with Shane Costelloe SC for the prosecution that the French boyfriend told Ms Colomines that he received a number of messages from Mr Gehlen, including one that read: “I hope I’m making this clear. Someone can get hurt and it doesn’t need to be her. Stay away.”

French boyfriend

The text messages read out in court between Ms Colomines and her French boyfriend began at shortly after midnight on October 24th, 2017 when the French boyfriend told Ms Colomines: “Your husband wants to talk to me on Facebook.”

Shortly after 6am Ms Colomines exchanged messages with her husband in which he said he loved her and later told her he had found a bag and badge that she had been looking for. At 9.29am Ms Colomines sent her French boyfriend a message saying: “Hello sweetheart.”

They exchanged dozens of messages throughout the morning including several in which they said they loved one another. After 10am the French boyfriend forwarded a message which he said had come from Mr Gehlen. It said: “Sorry, I don’t know you but I hope your interaction with Anne is just friendship because I’m her husband and I’m trying to fix our marriage. This is not helping. Please leave me and her alone. Thanks.”

Ms Colomines told her boyfriend to “let it go” and said: “He knows it’s over. It doesn’t matter what he does.”

That evening, Mr McCawley said CCTV showed Ms Colomines arriving home at 19:23 followed by Mr Gehlen at 20:00. Ms Colomines and her French boyfriend continued messaging each other.

Shortly after 10pm Ms Colomines said she was planning on exercising on a rowing machine early the following morning. At 22:22 the French boyfriend sent another message that he said had come from Mr Gehlen. It read: “You’re not here to protect her. What do you have to say about the matter?”

Mr McCawley’s evidence continues on Monday in front of Mr Justice Michael MacGrath and a jury of five women and seven men.

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