Interior designer Stuart Rattle's murderer a pathological liar The man who murdered his partner of 16 years, well known interiordesigner Stuart Rattle, was a pathological liar known as "The TalentedMr Ripley", a court has heard.
Chief Crown Prosecutor Gavin Silbert, SC, told the Supreme Court onMonday that Michael O'Neill strangled Mr Rattle as an "act offinancial self preservation". O'Neill, 48, had told "a cock and bull story" to police for morethan five hours after his arrest before confessing to having killed MrRattle on December 4 last year at the couple's South Yarra apartmentand setting fire to the property four days later to try to cover upthe murder. O'Neill admitted having taken a saucepan from the kitchen at about 6amand striking Mr Rattle, 53, over the head before wrapping a nylon doglead around his neck. Mr Rattle begged for his life as he was being strangled. O'Neill has pleaded guilty to one count of murder and one count of arson. Mr Rattle's mother, Jill, in an emotional victim impact statement readto the court during the pre sentence hearing, said O'Neill called herafter the fire to claim Stuart had been trapped upstairs and louis vuitton shoes kuwait could notescape. Mrs Rattle said she believed O'Neill's story and kissed and hugged himto try to comfort him. She was shocked to have been betrayed by the man her son had loved so much. Defence barrister Ruth Shann told the court O'Neill was a sad,inadequate, deeply dysfunctional man who had been living a lie sincehe was five years old. Ms Shann said O'Neill, who came from a working class family in Irelandbefore emigrating to Australia when he was four, had never come toterms with his sexuality and had been bullied because of it for mostof louis vuitton purses qvc his life. O'Neill lived in two worlds an internal solitary and frighteningworld and the outside world where he gave the impression everythingwas fine. Ms Shann said O'Neill was targeted when growing up because he waseffeminate, neat and did not play sports. O'Neill developed a mechanism where he told lies to avoid disappointing people. He had never told his family he was gay. "For Michael, being gay has been a shameful mistake," Ms Shann said. The defence barrister said that when they met Mr Rattle was everything O'Neill wasn't strong, confident, capable, successful, and a creativegenius whose career was on the rise. O'Neill had been a waiter at thetime. "Michael was swept into Stuart's world," Ms Shann told JusticeElizabeth Hollingworth. For 16 years the couple had been involved in a loving but deeplyimbalanced relationship where Stuart liked to be in control andO'Neill liked to be controlled. Ms Shann said O'Neill was louis vuitton neverfull youtube suddenly mixing with the high society ofMelbourne among Mr Rattle's wealthy clients. But O'Neill was not treated as an equal by Mr Rattle, more like an assistant. The defence barrister said everything revolved around Mr Rattle, andO'Neill never revealed to even his closest friends any vulnerability,weakness or feelings of not being able to cope. O'Neill was one half of the "perfect couple" and the couple's imageand brand were important to both of them. Ms Shann said the pair had been good looking, mixed with a socialclique from the art world and enjoyed a first class lifestyle butthere was "a lot of smoke and mirrors to this world". Sex was an area of ongoing difficulty and shame for O'Neill as theinterior designer was very demanding sexually, the defence barrister claimed. Mr Rattle would regularly demean and belittle O'Neill in public,saying louis vuitton purses cheap fake he wasn't getting enough sex and was planning to send him backto where he came from. O'Neill was constantly in fear of losing Mr Rattle, who was the anchorto his life. Ms Shann said the couple had been spending $600,000 to$700,000 a year on a decadent lifestyle, more than doublewhat they were making, and both were to blame for the business being introuble.
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