Monday 23 April 2018

Death of man (51) in Co Cork now being treated as murder

Gardaí sealed off a car park near the house. Photo: Provision
Gardaí sealed off a car park near the house. Photo: Provision
Ralph Riegel

Ralph Riegel

GARDAí have launched a murder investigation after a post mortem examination revealed an English national died as a result of injuries suffered in a brutal assault.

John Ustic (51) died from head injuries sustained in an assault which is believed to have occurred some time before he was helped back to his rented home in Skibbereen in west Cork last Sunday night.

Mr Ustic was found unresponsive in the living room of the rented property at High Street in the town by his shocked partner at 9am on Monday.

The results of a post mortem examination conducted on Mr Ustic will not be released by Gardaí for operational reasons.

The post mortem examination was conducted at Cork University Hospital (CUH) by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy.

However, it is understood Mr Ustic sustained a number of blows to the face and head consistent with a vicious and prolonged assault.

It is understood he had also sustained blows to his torso and groin area.

Mr Ustic, who had been resident in Ireland for a decade, was discovered unresponsive shortly before 9am on Monday in the sitting room of the property he had only rented several weeks ago.

A large quantity of blood was found by the body.

Furniture in the room was also disturbed as if someone had stumbled against it or fallen over it.

Mr Ustic had been living in the Skibbereen area since 2014.

His shocked partner immediately alerted emergency services after discovering him in the blood-spattered sitting room.

Despite desperate efforts to assist him, he was pronounced dead before he could be transferred to CUH.

Detectives immediately became aware of local reports that Mr Ustic had been found in a distressed condition on High Street late on Sunday evening.

Locals had gone to his aid, had apparently helped clean him up before escorting him back to his rented terraced house.

Gardaí now want to trace three individuals who were reported by neighbours to have been with Mr Ustic on Sunday evening.

Two were described as men in their 20s or 30s.

The third was a young woman.

The trio had apparently assured one local who expressed concern about Mr Ustic's condition that he would be fine and he was being looked after.

Garda technical experts conducted a detailed forensic examination of the two storey property where the English national was found and at a car park located a short distance away.

It is believed the assault may have occurred in the vicinity of the car park.

Locals said Mr Ustic, who had lived at a number of other addresses across west Cork, had been socialising in the town over Sunday evening.

Gardaí have confirmed he was in a local pub watching football earlier on Sunday evening.

The investigation is being led by Supt Ger O'Mahony and detectives particularly want to talk to anyone who may have seen Mr Ustic or who he was with from 7pm on Sunday evening.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Skibbereen Gardaí on (028) 23088.

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