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'Constant demands for sex' led to man being stabbed by wife at their Tipperary home

Wife who stabbed her husband with a kitchen blade as he chopped sausages escapes jail time as judge hands down a suspended sentence

Audrone Zilionyte (52) stabbed her partner Rhymantas Stanius in the side of the chest. Photo: Sunday World

Patrick O'Connell

This is the unlikely couple whose shocking sex row ended in a bloody knife attack.

Mobility-impaired Audrone Zilionyte stabbed partner Rhymantas Stanius after she got fed up with his 'constant demands for sex'.

But injured Rhymantas, who was chopping sausages when the attack occurred, refused to give a statement against his 52-year-old partner, describing her 'as the love of my life'.

And the couple, who moved to Co Tipperary from Lithuania 17 years ago, continued to present a united front when the Sunday World called to their Roscrea home.

"Seventeen years in Ireland, all good, no problem," said Rhymantas when our reporter asked about the attack.

Audrone was surprised when the Sunday World paid a visit

Details of the stabbing emerged at Nenagh Circuit Court earlier this month as Audrone was given an 18-month suspended sentence for assaulting Stanius causing him harm.

Sergeant Mark Kelly told the court that the emergency services were called to the couple's apartment at around 11am on October 25, 2020.

The court heard Audrone, who has very little English, got a neighbour to ring a ambulance after panicking when she realised what she had done.

By the time gardai arrived, Rhymantas was sitting in a chair, half covered with a dressing gown, with blood spattering the floor beneath him.

A bandage had been placed over a wound caused by a kitchen knife penetrating between his fifth and sixth rib.

After an ambulance crew arrived, Rhymantas remained seated, drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette, as paramedics dressed his wound.

The court heard the couple had very little English between them and that gardai only learned what had occurred when they sought the assistance of a translator.

The translator informed officers that it was Audrone's account that she had taken a knife from the kitchen and stabbed her partner.

Audrone was subsequently arrested and taken to Roscrea garda station for questioning.

The couple moved to Tipperary from Lithuania 17 years ago

During interview, she freely admitted to gardai what had occurred.

She told officers she and her partner had been drinking the evening previous to the attack and that she had slept downstairs on a couch after her partner had gone up the stairs to bed.

That morning, the couple had rowed after Rhymantas asked her for sexual intercourse.

She had demurred, leading to a heated row during which insults were hurled back and forth.

Later, as Rhymantas chopped 'possibly sausages' with a knife, Audrone picked up another knife and stabbed him in the right side of his torso.

The court heard it was not likely that Audrone had intended to cause her partner serious harm and had panicked when she saw the extent of his bleeding.

"I do not believe she intended to inflict such a wound," said Sgt Kelly.

Audrone Zilionyte (52) received a suspended sentence

Rhymantas told his partner he was not in any pain and she immediately made efforts to call and ambulance.

After emergency responders arrived at the scene, Rhymantas was taken to the Midlands Hospital in Tullamore where he was admitted, while his partner was removed from the scene in the back of a squad car.

The following day, Sgt Kelly travelled to the Midlands Hospital to interview Rhymantas but the victim concocted a story in a bid to protect his partner.

He refused to make a statement incriminating Ms Zilionyte, saying she was the "love of my life".

Instead he claimed he and Audrone were preparing food and a knife slipped and he got stabbed.

The court heard the prosecution was only possible as a result of Audrone's own admissions.

Sgt Kelly said the couple had been living in Ireland for about 17 years.

Rhymantas helps Audrone, who has mobility issues

Audrone had no previous convictions and relied on Rhymantas to help her as she had mobility issues and she could be seen leaning on him as they made their way around Roscrea.

In reply to Bill O'Brien, BL, for Audrone, Sgt Kelly agreed that the verbal row that led up to the stabbing was a result of Mr Stanius's "constant demands for sex".

Mr O'Brien said Ms Zilionyte had only intended to scare Rhymantas.

"She did not mean for the blade to go through his clothes. They had been drinking," he said.

The court also heard that Ms Stanius, prior to the stabbing, had been "gesturing with a knife" as he asked for sex.

Mr O'Brien said the stabbing was not premeditated.

He said the probation services had concluded Audrone was 'a low risk' in terms of repeating such a crime.

Passing sentence, Judge Cormac Quinn noted Audrone was pleading to a charge of assault causing harm after stabbing her partner between the fifth and six ribs on his right hand site.

The judge also remarked on the fact Rhymantas was present in court to support Audrone.

Describing the stabbing as an isolated but serious offence, he imposed a jail term of 18 months, suspended on condition that Ms Zilionyte keep the peace and be of good behaviour for 18 months in her own bond of €200.

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