Family of stabbing victim found wrapped in plastic want longer sentence handed to killer ex

Monika Matracka
Monika Matracka

The family of tragic marathon runner Michal Rejmer have called on the DPP to appeal the leniency of the jail sentence handed down to his killer ex-girlfriend.

Michal's family were left stunned last Monday when former partner Monika Matracka was ordered to serve just six years in jail for knifing the 38-year-old before wrapping his body under plastic in their back yard in Castletroy, Limerick, where he lay undiscovered for eight days.

Speaking from Michal's native city of Radom in Poland, the victim's cousin Dominik told the Sunday World that six years, in light of Matracka's actions after stabbing Michal on December 30, 2015, was simply not a long enough sentence.

"The worst thing about what she did to Michal was how she acted after she stabbed him," a heartbroken Dominik said.

"She claims she killed him in self-defence but if it was self-defence then why didn't she call the police afterwards. Why didn't she call anyone for help?

"She did not do that. She left him to bleed and then after he died she hid his body. Six years does not seem enough for that.

"I do not understand the law in Ireland but six years is not enough. The prosecutor should ask for more."

Speaking of how Michal moved to Ireland but continued to support then-girlfriend Matracka with her studies in Poland in 2009, Dominik described his cousin as 'incredibly friendly' and loyal to his friends.

"Michal was a sensitive guy and he had been with her for a long time," he said.

Michal Rejmer

"He was maintaining her for eight years, and he had brought her to Ireland but just a few months after she arrived there she met another guy.

"I understand it was a difficult situation because they were both still living in the house together.

"We don't know what happened that night. She says it was self-defence but I don't know if Michal was the type who would ever have tried to hurt her."

Matracka, who was found guilty of manslaughter but not guilty of Michal's murder, claimed to have  killed her ex in self-defence after he threatened her over money she owed him.

Matracka told gardai that on December 30, 2015, Michal told her he wanted the money back and if he did not get it she "would have to say bye-bye to life".

She said he then cut her left hand with a knife.

She also told gardai she stabbed Michal in self-defence, saying: "I did it. It was me. I killed Michal."

Michal was reported missing on January 6, 2016, after colleagues became concerned when he had not turned up for work at McDonald's in Castletroy for a number of days. He was last seen on December 30, 2015.

His body was eventually discovered by a friend and a local volunteer at the rear of his house under plastic sheeting on January 8, 2016.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy told the jury that Mr Rejmer died as a result of bleeding from stab wounds to the arms.

She said she found a large, gaping stab wound running along his upper right arm exposing the tissues underneath.

She explained: "The blade had gone through these muscles and continued upwards through his armpit and ended at his shoulder joint. An artery had been cut and the depth of that wound was about 12.5 centimetres."

The radial artery to Michal's left arm had also been cut and the length of the track wound from his forearm to armpit measured 20cm.

Detective Garda Pat Whelan told how he asked Ms Matracka to go with him to Henry Street garda station on January 8 to file a witness statement.

Garda Whelan continued: "She was sitting in the back of the patrol car, I asked her what wrong. She said: 'I did it. It was me.'"

Matracka told gardai that Mr Rejmer had lent her money when they were going out together in 2009 and on the night of December 30, he got angry and wanted his money back.

She said: "He was hiding a knife behind him. He said he needed the money right now and if he didn't get it now I'd have to say bye-bye to life."

The deceased then cut her left hand with the knife, she said.

Ms Matracka said Michal fell down the stairs and when he was getting up she stabbed him with the knife in the arm or hand.

She said: "I kept stabbing him a few times, I don't remember very well."

Ms Matracka agreed with gardai that the body remained in the house for at least three days before she moved it to the garden. She said she put Michal's body where the turf was stored and covered him with plastic.

"I was the victim, not him," she claimed.

Dominik Rejmer wants a review of the sentence given to his cousin's killer

She told gardai she tried to burn the knife in her fireplace and later put it in a public bin.

Dr Hilary Clarke, from Forensic Science Ireland, told the jury that the deceased's blood was found all over the house and there was evidence that a clean-up had taken place.

Mr Justice Paul Butler explained mitigating factors in the case included the fact Matracka that had no previous convictions, she had offered a plea to manslaughter and had expressed remorse.

He said the court considered the offence to be mid-range and he believed the appropriate sentence to be eight years but had taken the mitigating factors into consideration.

He then sentenced Matracka to six years in prison and backdated it to when she went into custody on January 8, 2016.

Once standard remission of 25 per cent is applied, she will walk free from prison in June 2020 after serving just four-and-a-half years for Michal's killing.

Paying tribute to Michal, clubmates at Dooneen Running Club in Limerick described him as "irreplaceable".

Locals have set up an annual memorial run in tribute to him.