A pharmaceutical sales manager accused of murdering his ex-lover has tearfully re-enacted the struggle in which he claims the young woman was accidentally stabbed on two occasions, declaring: "I would never ever dream of hurting anyone".
Paul Darren Mulvihill broke down repeatedly as he told a Supreme Court jury on Wednesday that his colleague and former lover, Rachelle Yeo, had come at him with a large stainless steel kitchen knife after he went to her northern beaches home on July 16, 2012.
Theone-time Brisbane school and club rugby star said that after arguing about the end of their relationship, Ms Yeo slapped him hard in the face which he responded to by pushing her hard into the unit's kitchen.
Accused murderer Paul Mulvihill at the NSW Supreme Court. Photo: Edwina Pickles
"As I pushed her she turned," he said.
"I couldn't see what her hand was doing ... but when she turned around she confronted me with a very large stainless steel knife. She said, 'get the f--- out of here'."
"I said, 'Rachelle, don't be f---n stupid'."
Stabbed to death: Rachelle Yeo.
"She lashed out at me, towards my right chest area [with the knife]. I brought my right hand up to defend myself and the knife cut me at the bottom of my palm.
"When she slashed me I thought 'I'm in massive trouble here'."
Mr Mulvihill said he grabbed hold of Ms Yeo's right hand which was holding the knife and that during a brief struggle she fell backwards, pulling him down on top of her - an action he later demonstrated to the court.
He said that as they hit the floor the knife went into Ms Yeo's right side.
"At the time I just knew that the knife hit her somewhere in the right side. I could feel it hit something hard. When I looked at the knife again it had blood on it."
"I thought if I let her go, if I let go it's coming for me."
"It wasn't a situation where I could just leave ... the knife was just so sharp," he said, crying.
The 46-year-old then told the court that in the ensuing struggle he punched Ms Yeo in the face and managed to wrest the knife from her grasp.
He put the knife down nearby, got up and started to move away when he saw that Ms Yeo was going for the weapon again.
He tackled the 31-year-old and grabbed the knife before she reached it but she took hold at the same time.
He managed to get on top of the bleeding woman, the court heard and told her repeatedly, "Let it go, let it go".
Mr Mulvihill told the court that he had told neighbours who were banging on the door, "We're OK, we're all right", claiming that he did so to "calm her [Rachelle] down".
It was as he was trying to get up that the second stab wound to the neck occurred, Mr Mulvihill said.
"I was pushing down on her to use her as leverage to get up and the knife is [horizontal] between us," he said, again demonstrating the action to the court.
"I was pushing against something and then suddenly the pressure was gone and ... she turned her head to the right and the knife went into ... into her neck."
"Just looking at the blood coming out the side of her neck ... the blood was pouring out ... I looked at her and I knew that it was bad. I've grabbed her right hand and said 'f---, put your hand on it, put your hand on it.
"People were bashing at the door, saying that police were on the way. Blood was pouring out.
"I never ever would dream of hurting anyone ..."
"I just panicked. I knew I shouldn't be there ...I saw the balcony and I just walked over, put my hand on the rail and swung myself over."
The trial continues.