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Husband told gardai he lay down with body after killing Natalia, murder trial hears

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Rafal Karaczyn denies the murder of Natalia Karaczyn

Rafal Karaczyn denies the murder of Natalia Karaczyn

Rafal Karaczyn denies the murder of Natalia Karaczyn

A man accused of murdering his wife told gardai he lay down with the mother-of-three for 10 minutes after he killed her, a jury will be told.

Rafal Karaczyn (34), of Crozon Park, Sligo, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Natalia Karaczyn (30) at their home between April 2 and May 1, 2018.

His trial started yesterday at the Central Criminal Court.

Opening the prosecution's case, Bernard Condon SC said Natalia and Rafal Karaczyn got married in Poland in October 2008 and moved to Ireland in 2014. They have three children.

Mr Condon told the jury that "there had been some difficulties in the relationship".

He said Ms Karaczyn had been socialising with friends on the night of Saturday, April 28, 2018, and told the jury it would hear evidence from her sister, Magdalena McMorrow, and some people she was out with.

Intimate

He said it appeared Ms Karaczyn was out with friends and a man with whom she had an "intimate relationship" that night, before she continued home.

Mr Condon said that on the Sunday morning, Ms McMorrow reported to gardai that she was "concerned" about her sister's whereabouts.

He said gardai went to her home in Crozon Park where they met Rafal Karaczyn. The barrister said he told gardai his wife had not returned home.

The barrister said gardai then went across the road to Leo McGee's home as they could see he had CCTV cameras.

Mr Condon said the jury would hear that Mr Karaczyn later approached Mr McGee and asked him what could be seen on his CCTV.

Mr Condon said the prosecution say this chain of events is "relevant". He said Mr McGee looked at his CCTV and could see Mr Karaczyn moving his car.

Mr Condon said Mr Karaczyn called at Mr McGee's home another time and asked him if he saw anything.

The court would hear that Mr McGee told Mr Karaczyn that he had not, before he informed gardai of this exchange.

The senior counsel said gardai carried out CCTV searches across Sligo and were able to trace Natalia's movements.

He said officers returned to her home and became concerned after Mr Karaczyn said Natalia had not returned home when "they could see she had".

Mr Condon told the jury that it would hear evidence of Mr Karaczyn going to a garda station on May 1, 2018, and saying he indicated "he wanted to say something else" to gardai.

The barrister said the jury would hear evidence from gardai that Mr Karaczyn directed them to a "very remote, hidden" area. Mr Condon said this is where gardai found Ms Karaczyn's "hidden" body.

He said the jury would hear and see a series of subsequent garda interviews with Mr Karaczyn. Mr Condon said the jury would hear that in an interview "he didn't tell the truth" when he told officers he looked into her bedroom one morning and saw her in a strange position.

The barrister said the jury would hear that he told gardai he found Ms Karaczyn dead; that he "maintained he didn't kill her"; and that a "man with a gun threatened her".

Mr Condon said that, in a later garda interview, Mr Karaczyn "admitted that he killed Natalia" and that he said he "started to strangle her" and that after a while "I felt her slide down".

He said Mr Karaczyn told gardai that he then laid down with her for about 10 minutes.

Mr Condon said the jury would also hear evidence of Mr Karaczyn telling gardai about how he disposed of the body.

He said the jury would hear evidence from Deputy State pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan who found that the cause of Ms Karaczyn's death was asphyxia with external pressure on her neck.

"Manual strangulation was the cause of death," Mr Condon said.

The trial continues.


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