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Trial continues Murder accused Rafal Karaczyn strangled his wife after she slapped him in the face, court hears

Mr Karaczyn told gardai he couldn't remember what he intended to do when he put his hands around his wife's neck. He added: "I didn't want to kill her. I don't know what was with me at this time"

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Natalia Karaczyn

Natalia Karaczyn

Natalia Karaczyn

Murder accused Rafal Karaczyn demonstrated to gardai how he strangled his wife with both hands after he asked her where she had been and she slapped him in the face, his Central Criminal Court trial has heard.

Mr Karaczyn told gardai he couldn't remember what he intended to do when he put his hands around his wife's neck. He added: "I didn't want to kill her. I don't know what was with me at this time."

He further told gardai that he had decided to tell the truth after lying in his first five interviews because he needed forgiveness.

Mr Karaczyn had previously told gardai that a man held a gun to his head, threatened to kill his children and told him to leave his kitchen window open that night. He said he woke up the next morning and found his wife dead in her bedroom and decided to dispose of her body because he didn't think people would believe him.

In his final interview he told Detective Garda Pauline O'Neill that he wanted to tell the truth and accepted that his previous interviews were filled with lies.

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Rafal Karaczyn

Rafal Karaczyn

Rafal Karaczyn

Mr Karaczyn (35), of Crozon Park, Sligo, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his wife, Ms Karaczyn, at their family home in Crozon Park between April 29th, 2018 and May 1st, 2018.

Mr Karaczyn has admitted that he unlawfully killed his wife by strangling her and accepts that he alone caused her death. He is on trial at the Central Criminal Court.

Det Gda O'Neill told Diana Stuart BL for the prosecution that at the start of his final interview at Ballymote Garda Station on May 2, 2018 Mr Karaczyn said: "I would like to admit for killing her. I will start from the beginning."

He said that it started one year earlier when his wife said she wanted a "break".

He said he had depression and although she told him to leave, he stayed living in the house for his children.

On Sunday morning April 29 he said he was awakened when Natalia shut the door in the small room where she slept. He went in and asked: "Where have you been?" He said he used a "hard voice" and she pushed him.

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He went into the room again and again asked where she had been. "She slapped me twice and I really don't know what happened. I started to strangle her and after a while she started to slide down."

He added: "I am very sorry I did it. I really really loved her. I can't forgive myself."

At the end of the interview he told gardai that she "didn't fall down, she was lying down. I took her and I pushed her on the bed first."

He demonstrated to gardai how he strangled his wife with both hands. When asked what he felt he said he doesn't remember but afterwards, when he lay beside her, he said he felt "very big regret and grief."

He said he didn't injure her in any other way but when he was carrying her body through his kitchen he dropped her on the tiled floor.

He said she may have suffered further injuries when in the boot of the car and when he pulled her dead body through a fence into the wooded area where she was later discovered.

Det Gda O'Neill agreed with Brendan Grehan SC for the defence that she is a "veteran" of many investigations and has had "great success in getting people in difficult positions to talk."

She said it is normal that people will start off denying shameful conduct and "the truth can often emerge incrementally".

She agreed with Mr Grehan's depiction of the initial account given by Mr Karaczyn about someone threatening him with a gun as a "cock and bull story".

After his first interviews on the Sunday night in which Mr Karaczyn told gardai nothing, he was released at 5.02am and within three hours returned to the garda station and revealed where his wife's body could be found.

He was rearrested and after a number of interviews in which he told his "story" he spoke to his sister-in-law Magdalena McMorrow and admitted to her what had really happened before telling gardai the truth.

Ms McMorrow, the witness agreed, was the most important person to Mr Karaczyn besides his wife and children. He has no other family and was brought up by his grandparents after his mother left him when he was three years old.

The witness further agreed that the accused met his wife when she was 17 or 18 and he was about 21. They were married when she was 20 and had two children in Poland and a third after they came to Ireland in 2014.

When they arrived in Ireland, Natalia seemed to thrive whereas he suffered, the witness agreed.

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Rafal Karacyn was accused of murdering his wife Natalia

Rafal Karacyn was accused of murdering his wife Natalia

Rafal Karacyn was accused of murdering his wife Natalia

Mr Karaczyn has no convictions in Ireland or Poland and there was no history of domestic violence in his relationship with Natalia, Det Gda O'Neill said. He had never come to adverse garda attention.

The defence called Piotr Korozan, who told Mr Grehan he has been a friend of the accused since they were teenagers in Poland.

He knew of the marital difficulties between Mr Karaczyn and his wife and had offered the accused a place to stay. The witness said he had asked Mr Karaczyn to move in "as soon as possible" but Mr Karaczyn told him he had to wait until after his child's first communion.

He said that his friend was "mentally destroyed" by the breakup of his marriage but when the witness asked him about it he didn't want to talk.

The trial continues on Monday in front of Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of eight women and four men.

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