Death of man in Skibbereen being treated as murder

Postmortem found John Ustic (51) died from injuries sustained in assault in Cork town

A general view of High Street in Skibbereen where John Ustic (51) was found dead on Monday. Image: Google Maps.

A general view of High Street in Skibbereen where John Ustic (51) was found dead on Monday. Image: Google Maps.

 

Gardaí in Co Cork have started a murder investigation after a postmortem confirmed that a man found dead in a house in Skibbereen on Monday died from injuries sustained in an assault.

The death of John Ustic, a 51-year-old English national, was initially being treated as suspicious but a postmortem on Tuesday night by State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy at Cork University Hospital led gardaí to upgrade the seriousness of their inquiry into the death.

Supt Ger O’Mahony of Clonakilty Garda station, who is heading up the investigation, appealed to anyone who may have come in contact with Mr Ustic in Skibbereen on Sunday evening to contact an incident room on (028) 23088.

He said gardaí had received “a very good response so far from the public” to the appeal but were still keen to hear from anyone who had not yet come forward with information that could help the investigation.

Gardaí believe that Mr Ustic may have been assaulted first in a car park next to Skibbereen Garda station on High Street sometime around 8pm on Sunday but may have been helped home by two males and a female in their 20s and they are anxious to make contact with the three witnesses.

CCTV footage

It is understood that gardaí have started viewing CCTV footage from the High Street area and sources believe it will likely play an important role in establishing what exactly happened to Mr Ustic and who was responsible for the assault.

Mr Ustic was pronounced dead at his rented house on High Street, which is directly across the street from Skibbereen Garda station, after the emergency services were alerted at around 9am on Monday by his partner when she was unable to rouse him.

Gardaí cordoned off the area and preserved the scene after it became apparent that Mr Ustic had a number of injuries including some to his head. Garda technical experts spent Tuesday examining both the house and the nearby car park.

Uniformed officers have carried out door to door inquiries along High Street to see if anyone heard any disturbance as they set about tracing Mr Ustic’s last known movements both to the car park and later to his rented house.

Mr Ustic and his partner had been living in the rented house for a number of months but it is understood that he had been living in west Cork for around a decade or so and previously lived in both Bantry and Drimoleague.