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Man accused of killing wife told gardaí he strangled her, court hears

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A man described to gardaí how his wife struggled to breathe as he strangled her after she came home from a night out, his murder trial has heard.

Rafal Karaczyn also told gardaí that he dropped his wife's body on the kitchen floor while he was bringing her to the boot of her car as her body was too heavy, the jury heard.

He also said that, at one point while moving her body, he heard a noise "like knocking" coming from the boot, the court heard.

The jury also heard how the murder accused texted his wife "you are not free and you will not do whatever you want" several months before he strangled her.

Rafal Karaczyn (34), of Crozon Park, Co Sligo, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his wife Natalia Karaczyn (30), at their family home between April 29, 2018 and May 1, 2018.

The court has previously heard Ms Karaczyn returned home from a night out at 6.23am on Sunday, April 29, 2018, after she had been in the company of another man whom she met in a pub the night before.

Ms Karaczyn and Mr Karaczyn were separated at the time of her death, but were still living in the same house with their three sons.

At the Central Criminal Court yesterday, Dara Foynes SC, for the DPP, read from the notes of the eighth and final Garda interview with Mr Karaczyn on May 2, 2018, in which he admitted he had strangled his wife after she returned from a night out.

Speaking to Detective Garda Paul Casey and Detective Garda Pauline O'Neill, at Ballymote garda station, Mr Karaczyn told them: "I would like to admit for killing her."

Mr Karaczyn went on to tell the gardaí he woke up when Ms Karaczyn closed the door in the "little room" after she came home from a night out. The accused told gardaí that after waking, he asked Ms Karaczyn "where are you been?"

He told gardaí he then went into the room and asked again.

He said she slapped him twice and he then strangled her.

He said he felt her slide down and then he lay down with her for 10 minutes.

Mr Karaczyn told gardaí: "I am very sorry I did it. I really, really loved her… I can't to forgive on myself."

Det Gda O'Neill told Ms Foynes that, during the interview, Mr Karaczyn put both of his hands around his own throat by way of explaining to gardaí how he strangled her.

When asked what he intended to do with his hands, Mr Karaczyn said: "I don't remember. I didn't want to kill her. I don't know what was with me this time."

The jury heard that when gardaí asked Mr Karaczyn if he could describe any emotion he felt as he was strangling her, he said he could tell gardaí he felt "very big regret and grief".

Mr Karaczyn told gardaí that Ms Karaczyn "took" his hands as he was strangling her because she couldn't take a breath of air.

Asked if he injured her in any other way, he said he carried her body like a child to the car but "she was too heavy" and her back hit the kitchen floor tiles after he dropped her.

Yesterday afternoon, Bernard Condon SC, for the prosecution, read out text messages between Ms Karaczyn and Mr Karaczyn going back to March 2017, and Facebook messages going back to December 2017.

The jury heard that over the last year of Ms Karaczyn's life, she repeatedly told Mr Karaczyn to stop texting her, to leave her alone and to move out of their family home.

It also heard Mr Karaczyn repeatedly tell her that he loved her, that he wanted to fix their marital problems, that he wanted her forgiveness and that he would change.

The court heard that almost a year before she died, he texted her "I will never let harm be done to you… we have to get back together and be a family", to which she replied: "Don't tell me what I have to do."

The trial continues.

Irish Independent