Businessman denies shooting girlfriend

CCTV released after woman’s bag is stolen

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A wealthy businessman accused of shooting his “working girl” girlfriend with an air pistol described how he was driven to try to kill himself after she became pregnant with someone else’s child, Portsmouth Crown Court heard.

Jonathan Kovacik told the jury that he had fallen in love with Rosalynde Pitcher and had pledged to give her £50,000 if she stopped her work as a webcam girl and from taking “clients” as well as stopped using drugs.

He also told the court how he gave her an indefinite loan of £6,000 to pay for a breast enlargement operation.

The 58-year-old, from Shanklin, Isle of Wight, said that after Ms Pitcher told him that she was pregnant, her father, Lee Pitcher, attacked him, accusing him of being the father, leaving him in a “state beyond terrified”.

Kovacik, who said he believed he was not responsible for Ms Pitcher becoming pregnant, said he then closed down his money trading options as he intended to kill himself, causing him a total loss of £2.4 million.

The defendant told the court that on December 12 last year, Ms Pitcher told him she was unwell after drinking a bottle of vodka the previous night and also informed him that she was pregnant.

He said that when he went to her flat, she vomited repeatedly and he was helping to look after her.

He said that Ms Pitcher said that the father of the child could be one of several men and had told him she was going to have an abortion because she could not have her planned breast operation if she was pregnant.

He told the court that she told him: “I have made my mind up, the boob job is booked, I can’t have the boob job if I am pregnant.”

Kovacik said that Ms Pitcher’s father then arrived at the flat and was “abusive and aggressive” towards him and threatened to kill him if he found out that he was the father.

Kovacik said that five days later Ms Pitcher’s father physically attacked him, punching him to the face and body several times.

He said that he left and went to his office where he cleaned the blood off himself and later went home where he “barricaded” himself in and only used the light from a mobile phone.

He said: “I was getting to the stage where I couldn’t cope with anything, I have got into such a state where I am hearing voices that the only way I can bring the pain to an end is to kill myself.”

Kovacik, who runs a car hire business and owns several rental properties, explained that in the coming days he closed his money trading options down and again barricaded himself into his flat where he attempted suicide.

He said: “I tried to commit suicide and being the dismal failure that I tend to be in life, I couldn’t get that right.”

He said he also tried to run fast from his home to his flat in an attempt to suffer a heart attack.

Kovacik told the court that he had been through a “stressful” period in the previous few years after being repeatedly investigated by the Inland Revenue, ending with a £108,000 bill, as well having his house flooded out on three occasions, leaving him to live in one of his rental flats.

Kovacik said that he next spoke to Ms Pitcher on December 20 and after clearing the air between them, he offered to bring her some cannabis which a friend had given him for her.

He said that he decided to visit her despite being “terrified” that her father, who the court heard has a history of violent offending, might be there and attempt to kill him.

He said he took an old air pistol and a diver’s knife with him for self defence.

Kovacik said that when he was at the flat: “Rose turned round and said to me ‘I am not on my own, he’s in the bathroom’.

“As the words ‘he’s in the bathroom’ are said, whether I was overcome with blind terror, panic that Lee Pitcher is going to walk out that bathroom any second now, I put my hand in my belt, took the gun out, the voices in my head just screaming ‘Get out of here’, I must have screamed ‘Get out’.

“It’s not Lee Pitcher, it’s a young lad, he looks at me and runs out of the door and I turned back to Rose and said ‘I just want to know why, I thought you loved me’.

“Her reply ‘I can’t believe you fell for that, we were never going to get together, it was never going to happen. The only thing I loved was getting my dad to beat or kick the f****** s*** out of you’.”

Kovacik said he could not remember the rest of the incident only that he then drove away in his car and called police with the aim of committing suicide by being shot by the police.

He said this led to a confrontation with officers with police attempting to taser him before he was arrested.

He said: “I had voices saying to get the police to shoot me, that is the solution.”

He added: “They didn’t seem to be shooting me despite my best efforts to make them do so.”

Kovacik denies four charges of wounding Ms Pitcher with intent, possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life, having an article with a blade or point and possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence towards a police officer.

He is accused of shooting Ms Pitcher with a pellet in the temple and hitting her five times with the weapon.

He claims he was mentally unwell during the incident but admits he must have caused the injuries although he cannot remember doing so.

He said: “I wish she was here so I could apologise for the inconvenience and pain I caused her, she was my world and the last thing I would want to do is try to hurt her.”

His defence is that he was mentally unwell at the time and he said he had since been put on anti-depressants while being in custody.

The trial continues.