Suspect charged with imprisoning and assaulting man later found dead
Garda operation put in place after crowd gathers outside Athlone court
A man has appeared in court charged with the false imprisonment and assault of another man whose body was later taken from the river Shannon.
Leszek Sychulec (32) appeared before a special sitting of Athlone District Court, Co Westmeath, this evening charged with assault causing harm to Patryk Krupa last Friday at Bogganfin on the Roscommon-Westmeath border close to Athlone.
The accused, a Polish man, was also charged with the false imprisonment of Mr Krupa, who was also from Poland, on the same date and at the same location.
Mr Sychulec, with an address at Drinan, Ballymahon, Co Longford, faced a third charge of threatening to kill or cause harm to Ewa Krasinska at Athlone Garda station on Saturday.
Giving evidence to the court hearing, Garda Aidan Lyons said he arrested Mr Sychulec at Athlone Garda station at 11.50am today and cautioned him on each of the three charges.
He told Judge Seamus Hughes the accused made no reply when the charges were put to him.
No bail application was made and solicitor for the defendant, Owen Carthy, consented to his client being remanded in custody to Cloverhill Prison, west Dublin.
Mr Sychulec will appear before Cloverhill District Court on Friday.
Supt Noreen McBrien, who applied to have the accused remanded in custody, told the court that further charges may follow from the continuing investigation.
Judge Hughes deferred any decision on granting legal aid pending the courts being furnished with further details as to the defendant’s financial status.
He requested gardaí make inquiries to establish if the accused man, who has been living in Ireland, had made any electronic transfers of money in recent weeks.
The court was told the accused had no bank account, was not in receipt of social welfare and was being financially supported by his partner.
A criminal investigation began last Friday when the body of Mr Krupa (23) was discovered partially submerged in the river Shannon on a stretch near Athlone where the river separates Roscommon and Westmeath. The remains were found at about 8.25pm.
The area was immediately sealed off and has since undergone an examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.
A Garda operation was put in place outside the court building today after a crowd gathered, jeering and shouting when the accused was taken to and from the building.
The Garda presence was made up of local uniformed and armed gardaí as well as members of the armed Regional Response Unit.
There was also shouting inside the court as the hearing ended and the accused was being led away.