Wednesday 25 April 2018

Neighbour found fatally stabbed McDonald's worker 'wrapped up like mummy' in garden

Woman (35) jailed for six years for stabbing her housemate and former partner

Monika Matracka Picture: Press 22
Monika Matracka Picture: Press 22

Alison O'Riordan and David Raleigh

A friend of Michal Rejmer has described how he will be forever haunted after discovering his remains "wrapped up like a mummy" in the victim's garden.

Monika Matracka (35) was jailed yesterday for six years at the Central Criminal Court for stabbing her housemate and former partner Mr Rejmer (38).

After the killing, Matracka hid Mr Rejmer's body in the back garden of the house they shared and destroyed evidence in what her defence team called "bizarre and outrageous behaviour".

Matracka, with an address at The Pines, Briarfield, Castletroy, Limerick, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Rejmer at that address at a time unknown between 8pm on December 30 and midnight on December 31, 2015.

She was found guilty of manslaughter by a majority jury verdict in February and sentenced yesterday.

Mr Rejmer's friend and neighbour Andrzej Kanios described how he found his remains under wooden pallets and bags of turf in the back garden.

Mr Kanios made the grim discovery in Mr Rejmer's garden on January 8, 2015, after he helped in a search for the McDonald's employee, two days after he was reported missing.

"I nearly stood on the body. I took back the plastic. His body was wrapped like a mummy - it had been wrapped in sheets and plastic," said Mr Kanios, from Malbork, Poland.

Michal Rejmer
Michal Rejmer

Speaking in January 2016 in an interview that can only be published now sentencing has been passed, he described the garden: "There is an oil tank there, and the gate (around it) was closed. I thought to myself 'why is it closed'.

"There were two pallets of black turf . . . I nearly stood on the body. I was shocked. I just wanted to shout out that I had found him."

Mr Kanios said one of the last times he spoke to Mr Rejmer was when he invited Mr Kanios to his house for a New Year's Eve drink. "I regret that I didn't go over for New Year's," he said.

Outlining the facts of the case yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Butler said Matracka and Mr Rejmer were previously in a relationship which had ended for some time and they had continued to live together.

He said Matracka made admissions to Mr Rejmer's killing in the back of a garda patrol car after her arrest.

"She said the deceased was a good man and she was a bad person in her interviews," Mr Justice Butler said.

The judge said that whatever happened between Matracka and Mr Rejmer (inset bottom), it was clear she stabbed him a number of times and he died as a result.

"His body was left in the house for some time and a clear attempt was later made to hide it in the garden," he said. Attempts were also made to destroy evidence. The judge said Mr Rejmer was a diligent worker and an athlete of some accomplishment.

The eight-day trial heard that Mr Rejmer had helped Matracka out financially when she was studying in Poland in 2009.

Matracka told gardaí that on December 30, 2015, Mr Rejmer told her he wanted his money back and if he did not get it she "would have to say bye bye to life". She said he then cut her left hand with a knife.

She also told gardaí that she stabbed Mr Rejmer in self-defence, saying: "I did it. It was me. I killed Michal."

Irish Independent

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