CHARGED | 

Man accused of Co Meath murder says ‘I’m so sorry for that. It should not have happened’

Andrei Dobra (33) appeared in Trim District Court charged with the murder of his partner Ioana Mihaela Pacala (30)

Andrei Dobra appears at Trim District Court

Ioana Mihaela Pacala© PA

Conor FeehanIndependent.ie

A man accused of murdering his partner in their Co Meath home on Saturday said: “I’m so sorry for that. It should not have happened” when charged, a court has heard.

Andrei Dobra (33) appeared in Trim District Court this morning charged with the murder of Ioana Mihaela Pacala (30) at their home in Ratoath over the weekend.

Her body was discovered on Saturday evening inside the flat at the Riverwalk Court apartment complex in the town of Ratoath, where they had recently moved to.

When first responders arrived shortly after 6pm they found Ms Pacala, who was originally from Romania, dead in a bedroom.

Mr Dobra was arrested at the scene and questioned at Ashbourne garda station.

He appeared at Trim District Court this morning where he was charged with the murder of Ms Pacala.

Mr Dobra appeared before Judge Miriam Walsh.

Ioana Mihaela Pacala© PA

Wearing a pink jumper and dark grey tracksuit bottoms, Dobra remained quiet during the short hearing.

The court heard from Detective Garda Michelle O’Brien of Ashbourne Garda Station that when charged with murder at 23.51 last night Mr Dobra replied: “I’m sorry for that. It should not have happened.”

He was remanded in custody to Cloverhill Prison to appear again via video-link this Thursday, November 17.

His solicitor, Maurice Regan, made an application for a psychiatric assessment and report while Mr Dobra is in custody.

This was granted by Judge Walsh.

He also made an application for legal aid and a Romanian interpreter, saying that while his client has been in the country for seven years and worked all that time, he now had no job because he is in custody.

He also said that while his client has good English the interpreter would be required for translation of legal terminology.

These applications were also granted by Judge Walsh.

Ms Pacala was originally from Romania but had been living in Ireland for some time.

She had only celebrated her 30th birthday last month and had moved into the Riverwalk Court apartments in recent weeks.

Family and loved ones of the deceased have been paying tribute to her while expressing their shock.

Her sibling Tocoian Estera wrote online: “Smooth road to heaven, my beautiful sister, you left a huge pain.”

One friend of the deceased also said: “I can’t believe you are no longer among us, I am speechless...

"I will never forget you.”

The scene remained sealed-off yesterday as gardaí continued to carry out an examination of the flat.

An incident room has been established at Ashbourne garda station and a senior investigator has been appointed to oversee the inquiry into the death.

At around midday her remains were removed from the scene.

Gardaí said they were brought to the City Morgue in Whitehall.


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