Murder accused ‘lay down’ with wife for 10 minutes after killing her
Rafal Karaczyn (34) has pleaded not guilty to 2018 murder of Natalia Karaczyn (30) in Sligo
Rafal Karaczyn, of Crozon Park, Sligo, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Natalia Karaczyn (pictured) at their home between April 29th and May 1st, 2018.
A man accused of murdering his wife told gardaí he lay down with the woman for 10 minutes after he killed her, a jury is to hear.
Rafal Karaczyn (34), of Crozon Park, Sligo, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Natalia Karaczyn (30), also from Poland, at their home between April 29th and May 1st, 2018.
His trial got under way on Tuesday at the Central Criminal Court before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of seven women and five men. The trial is expected to last up to three weeks.
Opening the prosecution’s case, Bernard Condon SC told the jury that the couple, who have three children, were married in Poland in October 2008 and moved to Ireland in 2014.
Mr Condon told the jury “there had been some difficulties in the relationship” which he said were “not unusual”. He said the jury would hear “something of this background”.
He said Ms Karaczyn went socialising with friends on the night of April 28th, 2018, and that the jury would hear evidence from her sister, Magdalena McMorrow and some people she was out with that night.
He said it appears Ms Karaczyn was out with friends and a man with whom she had an “intimate relationship” that night, before she went home. The barrister told the jury that they will see the “relevant movements of the parties” through the Saturday night into the early hours of the Sunday.
Mr Condon said on the Sunday Ms McMorrow, who also lived in Sligo, told gardaí she was “concerned” about her sister’s whereabouts, which prompted them to carry out inquiries.
Mr Condon said gardaí went to her home in Crozon Park and met Mr Karaczyn, who the trial would hear told the officer that his wife had not returned home.
The barrister said the jury would also hear that, after speaking with Mr Karaczyn, gardaí went across the road to the home of Leo McGee as they could see he had CCTV cameras.
Mr Condon said the jury would hear that after gardaí called to Mr McGee’s home, Mr Karaczyn approached him and asked what could be seen on the CCTV footage.
Counsel said the prosecution say this chain of events is “relevant”. He said the jury would hear that Mr McGee subsequently looked at his CCTV and could see Mr Karaczyn moving his car.
Mr Condon said the court would hear evidence of Mr Karaczyn calling to Mr McGee’s home another time and asking him if he saw anything. The court would hear that Mr McGee told Mr Karaczyn he had not, before he informed gardaí of the exchange. The barrister said the CCTV footage would be played for the jury.
He told the jury that they would hear how gardaí examined CCTV from across Sligo and were able to trace Ms Karaczyn’s movements across the town that Saturday night and Sunday morning.
He said following further investigation, they returned to her home and became concerned after Mr Karaczyn said she had not returned home when “they could see she had”.
Mr Condon told the jury that they would hear evidence of Mr Karaczyn going to a Garda station in the company of his wife’s sister and another friend on May 1st, 2018, when he indicated “he wanted to say something else” to gardaí.
The barrister said the jury would hear evidence from gardaí that Mr Karaczyn got into a patrol car and directed them to a “very remote hidden” area which was “some distance off a very quiet” road. Mr Condon said the court would hear that this was where Ms Karaczyn “hidden” body was found.
He said the jury would hear and see a series of Garda interviews subsequently carried out with Mr Karaczyn. Mr Condon said the jury would hear that in an interview “[Mr Karaczyn] did not tell the truth” when he told them he looked into her bedroom one morning and saw her in a strange position.
The barrister said the jury would hear that he told gardaí he found his wife dead; that he “maintained he didn’t kill her” and that a “man with a gun threatened her”.
Mr Condon said 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”.
Counsel said Mr Karaczyn told gardaí that he then lay down with his wife for about 10 minutes. Mr Condon said the jury would also hear evidence of Mr Karaczyn explaining how how he disposed of the body.
The trial continues.