Man claims he killed girlfriend after she racially abused him

Mother-of-three was found dead on kitchen floor

A student who strangled his girlfriend during a row told jurors today he lost control when she racially abused him.

Houssam Djemaa, 23, described how he hurled a fire extinguisher at mum-of-three Jacqueline Barrett, 34, in the kitchen of their home in Whitefield Avenue, Cricklewood, on December 10 last year.

At the Old Bailey today (Wednesday) he broke down in the witness box as he added: “I strangled Jackie. I lost control of myself and I was angry.”

Djemaa, a heavy cannabis user, admitted he ransacked the flat, sold Ms Barrett’s TV and her son’s Nintendo Wii to get cash to run away.

But he changed his mind and returned to the flat to call police and confess.

Jurors heard he has dual British and Algerian nationality and has previous convictions for burglary, theft and possession of cannabis since 2006.

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Djemaa said he met Ms Barrett in July 2010 and they often had arguments about silly things but most because she believed he was seeing other women.

On the day Ms Barrett died Djemaa said she started going through his phone and saw a text message from a woman.

He claimed Ms Barrett threatened to contact a ‘don in the Turkish Mafia’.

He said they started tussling and Ms Barrett picked up a knife from the kitchen and hurled racist abuse at him.

He said: “I lost my temper. I picked up the fire extinguisher and I threw it at Jacqueline, quite hard.

“I picked up the fire extinguisher and hit her again.

Djemaa then straddled her as she lay half-naked on the floor and strangled her, the court heard.

Ms Barrett was found dead on the floor with multiple bruising and signs of asphyxiation.

Djemaa denies murder but admits manslaughter.

The trial continues.