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Drug fears for son behind hammer attack, court told

A HUSBAND charged with trying to murder his wife on her birthday claimed he did it to protect his son from her drug-dealing, a court has heard.

Andrzej Benko (42) left Joanna Benko severely disabled and in a wheelchair after battering her over the head with a lump hammer.

The Central Criminal Court was told that he had called gardai on July 5, 2010 to say he had attacked his wife.

An officer yesterday gave details of interviews with the defendant in which he claimed Mrs Benko had been dealing and taking drugs and that their young son had found 100 ecstasy tablets at home.

After gardai asked him if he decided to kill her to protect their child, he replied: "You could say that. I was afraid that she would kill my son by him finding drugs."

Mr Benko also claimed his wife had been "making my life hell" by spending all his money and leaving him twice, taking their son both times.

He said he bought her flowers for her birthday on the day of the attack, but that she was in a deep sleep and did not wake when he tried to talk to her.

He described looking for a vase for the flowers, seeing the hammer, thinking for several minutes about hitting her and then eventually doing it.


"I thought that she was going to leave," he told officers investigating the incident.

"If she said she'd leave and not take (the child) I wouldn't mind so much. I wanted to make my justice and to finish my hell."

Asked in an interview how he would finish his hell, he allegedly replied: "To kill my wife."

The court heard that gardai found drug paraphernalia in the house in Ladyswell Road, Mulhuddart, including syringes and smoking devices.

They also discovered a lump hammer with blood on it matching Mrs Benko's DNA.

The hammer was shown to the jury, along with a photo of a vase of 10 red roses in the kitchen.

Mr Benko denies the attempted murder of his wife, who still uses a wheelchair.

She also has communication difficulties and will depend on full-time carers for the rest of her life.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of two women and 10 men.