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appeal hearing Man who attempted to murder wife with kettlebell claims he was misled by legal team

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Kettlebell

Kettlebell

Kettlebell

An Algerian man who pleaded guilty to attempting to murder his wife by beating her with a kettlebell after becoming resentful of her independence has claimed that he was misled by his legal team and that gardai fabricated evidence at his sentence hearing.

At the Court of Appeal today, Lounes Ouachek (50) of St Dominic's Terrace, Tallaght, Dublin 24 asked for permission to bring an appeal against conviction in circumstances where the statutory period to lodge an appeal has passed.

The court refused his application having heard arguments from Ms Cathleen Nocter SC for the Director of Public Prosecutions that Ouachek had not engaged with the facts of the case and that there was "no basis identified upon which the court might engage in considering extending the time."

Ouachek pleaded guilty in 2014 to the attempted murder of Ruta Ouachek at his home address on August 23, 2012.

He had struck his wife repeatedly on the head with a kettlebell and left her bleeding and seriously injured with fractures to her skull and facial bones.

After trying to murder her he pulled the blinds, locked the door and took a flight from Dublin Airport to Tunisia via Paris without alerting anyone to his wife's condition.

He was subsequently arrested in Germany on foot of a European Arrest Warrant.

Mr Justice Paul Carney sentenced Ouachek to 15 years imprisonment with the final three suspended on July 21 2014. The Court of Appeal, following hearings in 2015, reduced the sentence by one year.

Representing himself today (FRI) and sometimes using a translator, Mr Ouachek said he had submitted papers to the court that showed that the evidence against him was "all fabricated".

He said that when he pleaded guilty he didn't understand English and had no interpreter in court.

He said his legal team misled him and, referring to Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights, he said: "You have to start anew or release me as soon as possible."

He said he is "suffering every day" as all of the prisoners on his landing have tested positive for coronavirus and he asked to be released so he could find a "good barrister" to take up his case.

He said there was evidence of perjury by An Garda Siochana and his wife and suggested that forged papers were used to show that he had separated from his wife.

He further insisted that he had never received a barring order that was presented as evidence and said that he never split with his wife.

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President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham, sitting with Mr Justice John Edwards and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, said there was no basis to extend the time and refused to hear the appeal.

At the sentence appeal hearing in 2015 Mr Justice John Edwards outlined the evidence in the case. He said Ouachek had met his wife, a Lithuanian national, in Germany in 2000. They got married a year later and moved to Ireland in 2005.

Following the birth of their daughter in 2007, Ms Ouachek entered full time education and Mr Ouachek – a devout muslim, the court heard - “developed a resentment of his wife's new-found independence” and the little time she was spending at home.

Matters escalated in 2012, Mr Justice Edwards said. Ouachek took his daughter to Algeria but was subsequently persuaded to return by his wife.

In May 2012, they entered into a legal separation agreement.

In August of that year, he returned from Algeria and engaged in “stalking” his wife, demanding the return of various items and endeavouring to ascertain the whereabouts of his daughter by calling into several créche centres in Tallaght, Mr Justice Edwards said.

Despite obtaining interim barring orders against him, he said Ouachek called to his wife's home on August 23 and neighbours observed them arguing.

Among the items Ouachek was demanding to be returned to him was a kettle-bell.

According to Ms Ouachek's account, she handed it to him while he was still outside the house but her next memory was lying on the kitchen floor with Ouachek straddling her, striking her with the kettle-bell.

She managed to make her way into the bathroom where she locked herself in and was found later by gardaí covered in blood and seriously injured.

Ms Ouachek had fractures to her skull and facial bones and was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital.

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