Friday 24 October 2014

Man tried to kill wife to protect his son, court told

Natasha Reid

Published 06/03/2014 | 02:30

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 MAN accused of trying to kill his wife with a lump hammer told gardai he attacked her to protect his toddler son, who he claimed previously found ecstasy tablets belonging to her, a court has heard.

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

His trial at the Central Criminal Court heard how he told gardai that he feared their young child would die after finding her drugs.

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

The court heard that he rang gardai to say he'd hit her over the head with a hammer that morning.

Mrs Benko is now confined to a wheelchair 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.

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 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 her 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 added he was disappointed.

FLOWERS

He said he saw the hammer when he was looking for a vase for the flowers and thought about hitting her with it. He added that 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.

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.

Irish Independent

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