Monday 18 June 2018

Murder trial witness shown ID bearing his name, address, date of birth but different photo

Victim Patryk Krupa
Victim Patryk Krupa

Natasha Reid

A witness in a murder trial has been shown an identification card bearing his name, address and date of birth, but a different photograph.

Tomas Strugacz was giving evidence in the trial of two men charged with murdering a 23-year-old by beating him unconscious and leaving him to drown in the River Shannon.

The Central Criminal Court trial has heard that Patryk Krupa drowned while incapacitated with a head injury from a violent assault on June 20th, 2014.

Leszek Sychulec (34) of Drinan, Ballymahon, Co Longford, and Andrzej Gruchacz (35) with an address in Warsaw, Poland have pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Krupa at Bogganfin, Athlone, Co Roscommon.

Both also deny a second charge each of falsely imprisoning Mr Krupa in Athlone on the same date.

It’s the State’s case that the two accused pulled Mr Krupa into the back of a car in Athlone that evening, before taking him to the banks of the Shannon, beating him unconscious and dragging him to the river.

Mr Strugacz testified today that he was in Dublin City Centre in June 2013 when he noticed his Polish driving licence had gone missing. He reported it missing to the gardai in Lucan, where he lived, and travelled to Poland to get another.

He was handed an identification card in court.

“The name is the same. The address is the same,” he said. “It’s not mine. That’s not my photograph.”

The jury had already heard that a man identifying himself as Tomas Strugracz moved into a house near Strokestown, Roscommon around that time.

“He was in a BMW jeep with another man,” testified Brendan Naughton, the auctioneer, who let the house to him.

Mr Naughton said that the tenant had provided a copy of his driving licence.

“I was happy with it,” he said of the licence, which was shown to the jury.

The landlord, Peter Shaughnessy, said he had met his tenant three or four times, confirming that he went by the name, Tomas.

He was then given a still from CCTV footage captured in an Athlone petrol station on the evening of Mr Krupa’s death.

He said he was able to recognise Tomas in the picture and pointed this person out for the jury.

Sergeant Aidan Lyons later testified that he arrested Leszek Sychulec in a BMW jeep near Athlone in the early hours of the following day.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Tony Hunt and a jury of four women and eight men.

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