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Saturday 20 September 2014

Man charged with attempting to murder wife with hammer feared for child’s life

Published 05/03/2014 | 18:53

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Benko (Andrzej): Pleads NOT guilty to the attempted murder of his wife, Central Criminal Court, 4-3-14
Pic shows: Andrzej Benko (42), of Ladyswell Road, Mulhuddert, arriving at court yesterday (Tues.) where he has pleaded NOT guilty to the attempted murder of his wife Joanna Benko at that address in July, 2010.
Pic: Courtpix
Andrzej Benko

A 42-year-old man charged with attempting to murder his wife on her birthday said he feared their toddler would die after finding her drugs.

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The jury was today shown the lump hammer with which the accused man said he hit her over the head. The jury also saw a photograph of 10 red roses he had bought for her an hour earlier.

Andrzej Benko (42) of Ladyswell Road, Mulhuddert has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to the attempted murder of Joanna Benko at that address on July 5, 2010.

The Central Criminal Court trial has heard that he rang gardai that morning to say he’d hit her over the head with a hammer. Mrs Benko is now confined to a wheel chair most of the time, has communication difficulties and will depend on full-time care for the rest of her life.

Detective Garda Patrick Traynor yesterday gave details of the garda interviews conducted with Mr Benko that day.

The accused had said his wife had been dealing and taking drugs and that their young child had found 100 ecstasy tablets in the house.

 “I was afraid she would kill my son by him finding drugs,” he said.

He was asked if it he decided to kill his wife to protect their son.

“You could say that,” he replied.

He said she had been making his life hell, spending all his money and that she had left him twice, taking their child with them both times.

He said he had bought flowers for her birthday that morning but that she was in a deep sleep and didn’t wake when he tried to talk to her. He said he was disappointed.

He said he saw the hammer when he was looking for a vase for the flowers and thought about hitting her with it. He said he spent a couple of minutes thinking about it before he did it.

“I thought she was going to leave,” he said. “If she said she’d leave and not take (the child) I wouldn’t mind so much.”

“I wanted to make my justice to finish my hell,” he said.

“How would you finish your hell?” he was asked.

“To kill my wife,” he replied.

The court also heard that gardai found various drug paraphernalia in the house, including syringes and homemade smoking devices.

They also found a lump hammer with blood on it matching Mrs Benko’s DNA. The hammer was shown to the jury, along with a photograph of a vase of 10 fresh red roses in the kitchen.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of two women and 10 men.

Natasha Reid

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