A former girlfriend of a man accused of murdering four people in Toronto testified against him on Thursday, describing in graphic detail his horrific abuse during their relationship.
Izzi Breslow, 25, told court that she had sought shelter with her grandmother after she and the accused, Richard Kachkar, fought with him in 2009.
Kachkar is accused of driving his car at speed into a crowded street, killing five people and injuring 23. Police say the outburst came after Kachkar turned violent in an argument about their shared bank account and the amount of child support he was paying.
He has pleaded not guilty to six counts of second-degree murder.
Breslow told the court she was at Kachkar’s home when he turned off the lights and asked her to leave. She and her grandmother came into the living room after a fallow period, and he “began throwing stuff at us”, she said.
He then pinned her to the ground, pulled a screwdriver out of his pocket and told her to “go down for the count”. As the incident ended, she heard him say “I love you, I have always loved you”.
He then slapped her, making her fall to the floor. He was abusive at that point, but “I didn’t think I had any choice” because he also slapped her mother on the head and choked her, she said.
“I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “I was scared I was going to die.”
Later, in the car with Kachkar, he told her that he had killed someone before, not mentioning it being in a previous relationship, “because his back hurts”. He also said he was depressed about his mood and suicide.
When asked by prosecutor James Grgic if he was a danger to the public, Breslow replied: “I honestly feel like he could kill someone tomorrow. I really, really do.”
Earlier, Breslow testified that when she and Kachkar were together, he would often cover the steering wheel with a handkerchief so she couldn’t read the speedometer or brake lights, and he would regularly turn his hair back, unshaven.
When Kachkar would get angry, he would wet himself, she testified. On a number of occasions, she said she called police as he covered himself with a blanket to calm down.
Breslow also testified that Kachkar, a painter and a machinist by trade, had once punched her so hard that she ended up “laying on the ground shaking like a leaf”. She and Kachkar broke up later that year.
However, she would come back to Kachkar’s house in 2011 when the two were still together and he started again to hit her. He would call her names, including a Jamaican obscenity, and tell her he was going to kill her and himself, she said.
She said she feared Kachkar was going to drive into the street during an argument about their Shared Bank Account and that she planned to hide from him before he did. When she did, he grabbed a screwdriver and pinned her to the ground.
Kachkar allegedly grabbed the screwdriver with one hand, covered it with a pair of coat hangers and drove it at her head and abdomen.
She didn’t respond to the attack, and Kachkar hit her in the head and arms with the screwdriver before driving it again at her head and stomach and drove it off. She fell over while sitting on the ground, she testified.
She later called police as Kachkar drove out of the area and never saw him again.
Breslow’s grandfather, Bob Brown, told the court his granddaughter had no choice but to leave Kachkar, who he believed had disturbed her enough for her to leave.
Brown said Kachkar had forced the couple to share his home and telephone contact number after Kachkar became physically violent with Breslow in 2009.
The trial continues.