Man found dead in west Cork may have been attacked in car park

The English national who was found dead at his rented house in Skibbereen is named

State Pathologist Marie Cassidy and Garda technical experts examine the scene in Skibbereen where a man’s body was found. Photograph: Provision

State Pathologist Marie Cassidy and Garda technical experts examine the scene in Skibbereen where a man’s body was found. Photograph: Provision

 

Gardaí investigating the suspicious death of a 51-year-old man in west Cork say a postmortem due to be carried out on Tuesday will determine the course of their investigation.

The man, named locally as John Ustic, an English national, was pronounced dead at his rented terraced house at High Street in Skibbereen after the emergency services were alerted at about 9am yesterday by his partner when she was unable to rouse him.

The house is located across the street from Skibbereen Garda station. The area was cordoned off and gardaí preserved the scene after it became apparent that Mr Ustic had a number of injuries, including some to his head.

Gardaí under Supt Ger O’Mahony of Clonakilty station requested the services of the State Pathologist’s office and the Garda Technical Bureau from Dublin.

Technical experts arrived at about 4pm followed shortly by State Pathologist Marie Cassidy. She examined a public car park on High Street before going to the house.

She carried out a preliminary examination of Mr Ustic’s body in the livingroom area, where he had been found. Mr Ustic’s body was later removed to Cork University Hospital where Prof Cassidy was due to carry out a postmortem examination on Tuesday morning.

Gardaí hope this will establish the exact cause of his death and whether or not he died as a result of foul play.

Theory

It is understood one theory gardaí are examining is that Mr Ustic may have been assaulted in the car park as he was returning home at about 8pm on Sunday after an evening socialising.

Gardaí have established from a witness that there were two young men and a woman with Mr Ustic at some stage in the car park and that they said they were going to assist him to his house.

Sources say a preliminary examination showed no sign of forced entry at Mr Ustic’s home. They have not discounted the possibility that he may have injured himself in a fall when he got home.

Officers began door to door inquiries along High Street to see if anyone heard any disturbance or witnessed Mr Ustic either making his way from the car park independently to his house or being assisted by others.

They are also trying to trace his movements prior to making his way to the car park and have established that he had been watching a soccer match on TV in a local pub earlier in the evening.

Gardaí have begun studying CCTV footage from High Street as well as a number of other location.

Mr Ustic and his partner had been living in the two-storey house for a number of months but it is understood he had been in west Cork for about a decade and previously lived in Bantry and Drimoleague.