A convicted murderer who tried to suffocate his wife after a New Year’s Eve party at their home in West Cork has received an 18 month suspended sentence.
Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that Marius Rucinskas, who is originally from Lithuania, repeatedly struck his wife, tore clumps of hair from her head and pulled off her eyelash extensions.
Rucinskas, who works at a fish factory in Cork city, pleaded guilty to the charge of assault causing harm to his wife Renata Rucinskeine on January 1st, 2020 at their home in Main Street, Castletownbere, Co Cork.
Garda Laura O’Sullivan told the court the 42-year-old had been drinking from lunchtime on the date of the offence.
His wife returned home from work at about 5pm. That night they had some friends over for the New Year festivities and drank beer and whiskey.
After their friends left a dispute arose between Rucinskas and his wife. Garda O’Sullivan said over the next two to three hours Rucinskas assaulted his wife several times. The court heard he kicked and punched her in the kitchen. He then followed her upstairs. She tried to hide in an upstairs bedroom in a bid to avoid further injury.
“Renata was defending herself with her legs and managed to get Marius’s hands away from her face — Marius then hit Renata’s head off a table and pulled her on to the bed.
“Marius twisted her head and started pushing her head in to the bed — he started suffocating Renata and her face became red. Renata didn’t move for a few seconds before Marius demanded money from her.”
He told her that if he got €2,000 from her the next day he would stay out of her life.
She said when gardaí arrived at the scene Renata was in a distressed state. “I noticed on several occasions Renata putting her hands through her hair and that clumps of hair were coming out. ”
Defence counsel Dermot Sheehan claimed Rucinskas incurred a broken leg and arm in the incident.*
The court heard the defendant had a number of previous convictions from his native country including a a 15-year sentence imposed in 2000 for pre-meditated murder and a false imprisonment charge.
Rucinskas was previously remanded in custody for over a year in relation to the incident until his release in February of this year.
Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin said that this was a volatile situation that occurred following the consumption of a lot of alcohol.
“It was a violent assault that went on for a period of time causing great distress to people in the home. ”
He said he accepted that Rucinskas had kept out of Castletownbere as instructed previously by the court and acknowledged that he was a hardworking man employed in a “difficult work environment”.
Taking the year which Rucinskas spent in custody in relation to the offence in to account he imposed an 18-month sentence suspended for three years on condition that the defendant not ordinarily reside in or around Castletownbere.
Rucinskas was also told not to have contact with the victim and to keep the peace and be of good behaviour. The Judge said that “drink or no drink” the case was “very hard to understand.”
*This article was amended on September 9th, 2021