Kissel reported husband over alleged beating

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 February, 2011, 12:00am

Before Robert Kissel's body was discovered, a senior inspector investigating the American banker's disappearance was contemplating arresting him for allegedly beating his wife, Nancy Kissel, a court heard yesterday.

See Kwok-tat was asked by defence counsel Edward Fitzgerald QC why he had failed to caution Nancy Kissel before questioning her at the couple's apartment on November 6, 2003, after Robert Kissel was reported missing by his friend David Noh.

'Frankly speaking, when I went inside the apartment I was trying to gather information in order to find [Robert Kissel] as soon as possible,' See said. 'At that time, in fact, I had in my mind - just in case ... he was still alive - we might arrest [him] for having assaulted [Nancy].'

See said Nancy Kissel had made a report to police claiming she was assaulted by her husband four days earlier.

Nancy Kissel, 46, is on trial for the murder of her husband on or about November 2, 2003. He was 40.

See said the master bedroom of the apartment was 'in a mess', with luggage in the bath tub of the en suite and clothes and a number of boxes on the floor. 'I thought, the bedroom of a well-off family like them should not look like this,' he said. 'I believed something serious had happened.'

He said that when he asked Nancy Kissel for the storeroom keys, she looked nervous. When he opened the door, there was a foul odour and he called experts to the scene.

See said a forensic pathologist put his hand into a roll of carpet wrapped with adhesive tape and plastic sheets. 'He felt it for a while and said to me there was a body wrapped in the carpet. He could feel the head.'

Police later found two bags containing blood-stained pillows, tissue paper, towels and a T-shirt in a wardrobe in the bedroom of the Kissel children.

Nancy Kissel has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter, a plea that the prosecution does not accept. The trial continues before Mr Justice Andrew Macrae.