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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 17:48 GMT 18:48 UK
Priest 'did not know' about death
Father Gerry Nugent and Angelika Kluk
Father Gerry Nugent was giving evidence on day six of the trial
A priest has denied any knowledge of the death of Polish student Angelika Kluk whose body was found concealed under the floor of a Glasgow church.

Roman Catholic priest Gerry Nugent, 63, who admitted having sex with Ms Kluk, told the High Court in Edinburgh he knew nothing about her death.

The 23-year-old's body was found under the floor of St Patrick's Church, Anderston, in September.

Peter Tobin, 60, denies raping and murdering Ms Kluk. The trial continues.

Father Nugent was repeatedly accused of lying by defence counsel Donald Findlay QC when he claimed he knew nothing of the trapdoor just feet from his confessional.

Mr Findlay asked the priest: "Father, however difficult it may be, is there something you wish to tell us about the death of Angelika Kluk?"

Father Nugent said: "I know nothing about the death or the circumstances of her death."

You were angry with her, rage fuelled by jealousy and no doubt fortified from time to time by drink
Donald Findlay QC

He also denied he was consumed by jealousy and rage after he found out that Angelika was having an affair with a married man.

The priest, who resigned from the parish two weeks ago, said he was deeply concerned about her after their sexual relationship.

He also admitted a sexual relationship with musician Sarah Howie who played in the church.

Mr Findlay read the court words written by Ms Kluk, in which she said: "I sometimes feel I was always like a nice teddy bear to Gerry.

"When it was interesting to play with me, everything was OK, but when I stopped to admire him as much as before he just put me in the dark closet."

Mr Findlay challenged Father Nugent about "rummaging" in Angelika's room in the chapel house.

St Patrick's Church, Glasgow
Angelika's body was found under the floor of St Patrick's

The priest denied this and said there were church items stored there.

Mr Findlay said: "On one occasion you not only went into her room, you were rummaging in her bin. What were you looking for?"

Father Nugent said: "I was not looking for anything. It was what I saw."

Mr Findlay said: "You were looking for, and found, evidence of sexual activity, namely a condom."

Father Nugent: "I wasn't looking in the bin, I saw it.

"That is when I thought there must be a relationship going on here."

Betrayal of trust

Mr Findlay said: "Isn't it the truth Father, particularly after you discovered the nature of the relationship, a sexual relationship, between Martin MacAskill and Angelika you were consumed by jealousy?"

"I certainly wasn't angry and I wasn't jealous," Father Nugent said.

Mr Findlay said the priest became cold and hardly spoke to Ms Kluk after this.

"You were angry with her, rage fuelled by jealousy and no doubt fortified from time to time by drink," he said.

Father Nugent denied this. He admitted telling Rebecca Dordi, a student from St Petersburgh, about the condom but denied it was a betrayal of trust.

Jurors saw photos of a hatch in the church floor, near the confessional, which led to Ms Kluk's body on 29 September.

Conceal information

Father Nugent said he did not know it was there.

The trial heard Sarah Howie, who he had a sexual relationship with, had told police of a search of St Patrick's for secret passages, after which she had told Father Nugent of the hatch.

Earlier, Father Nugent admitted telling Rebecca Dordi - described as a devout woman with links to St Patrick's - to conceal information from the police.

The murder charge alleges that Mr Tobin attacked Angelika between 24 September and 29 September in St Patrick's Church, raped her, battered her and repeatedly struck her with a knife.

It is alleged that he then hid the body under the floor of the church in an attempt to defeat the ends of justice.

In a special defence read to the jury, Tobin admits having sex with the Polish student, with her consent.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Father Gerry Nugent on his way to court



SEE ALSO
Priest's sex 'shame' with student
03 Apr 07 |  Glasgow and West
Murdered student's final message
02 Apr 07 |  Glasgow and West
Angelika lover dismisses claims
30 Mar 07 |  Glasgow and West
Fury at Angelika priest sex claim
29 Mar 07 |  Glasgow and West
Victim's sister 'quizzed accused'
29 Mar 07 |  Glasgow and West
Father in tears at Angelika trial
28 Mar 07 |  Glasgow and West

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