Chicken tycoon Gerardus Heijne just 'lost control'

Mr Heijne said at that point he thought Mr Cianciosi was dead and he lay down next to him after turning the airconditioner on low, the way Mr Cianciosi liked it.…Mr Heijne left the penthouse to go shopping with the 19-year-old gay man he had been having an affair with. When he returned to the penthouse about 7.30pm that night, Mr Heijne said it was clear Mr Cianciosi was dead.

The Australian
June 3, 2009

Chicken tycoon Gerardus Heijne just 'lost control'
Debbie Guest

AFTER being slapped in the face and called a "dumb bodybuilder" by his gay lover of 25 years, chicken tycoon Gerardus Heijne lost control and hit back, grabbing Frank Cianciosi by the throat.

He then "smacked" his lover in the mouth once or twice with his right fist before realising that Mr Cianciosi, who was lying under Mr Heijne on his bed, was not moving.

"Frank wasn't moving, his eyes were open and glazed and his chest wasn't moving," Mr Heijne told a West Australian Supreme Court jury at his murder trial yesterday.

In dramatic testimony in his first day in the dock, Mr Heijne said Mr Cianciosi had on previous occasions been violent towards him, once when his lover stabbed him in the back of the neck with a broken plate, and another time when Mr Heijne was hit over the head with an iron.

Mr Heijne said the couple had started arguing about 12.30pm on January 3, last year, after he tried to make Mr Cianciosi, who was also his business partner, come to the office.

He said Mr Cianciosi had been continually absent from work over the previous six months because he was tired and stressed by their company, the WA chain of Lenard's chicken stores, which was being investigated by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission over allegations by unhappy franchisees.

Mr Heijne has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Cianciosi in January last year, saying he put his hand around Mr Cianciosi's throat because he was afraid his lover was going to hit him again.

"I got frightened and scared," he said.

Mr Heijne said that after giving Mr Cianciosi mouth-to-mouth and getting no response, he decided to make him comfortable by placing a pillow under his arms and tucking him into bed.

Mr Heijne said at that point he thought Mr Cianciosi was dead and he lay down next to him after turning the airconditioner on low, the way Mr Cianciosi liked it.

"I was panic-stricken, I couldn't understand what had just happened … I wish I had called an ambulance, if I could turn back time that's exactly what I would do," he said.

"It felt like I was in a dream world, it just didn't seem real."

But after changing into a clean shirt, Mr Heijne left the penthouse to go shopping with the 19-year-old gay man he had been having an affair with.

When he returned to the penthouse about 7.30pm that night, Mr Heijne said it was clear Mr Cianciosi was dead.

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25579621-5006789,00.html


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