Nurse found guilty of mother’s murder

Greta Dudko (36) is sentenced to life in prison after verdict on Christmas Eve 2010 death

 

A 36-year-old nurse has been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering her mother on Christmas Eve four years ago.

Greta Dudko admitted killing 55-year-old Anna Butautiene by banging her head against a wall and hitting her over the head with a glass bottle.

The woman died of blunt force trauma to her head in the home they shared at Station Court Hall, Clonsilla in Dublin.

The Lithuanian mother of one pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to her manslaughter at that address on December 24th, 2010.

The plea was not accepted and she went on trial at the Central Criminal Court earlier this month.

The 11-day trial heard that the accused had developed an alcohol problem at the time, and was on a number of medications. She had been suspended from her job at the start of the month due to intoxication at work, where she had previously been regarded as one of the best nurses.

Her trial also heard that she, her mother and Dudko’s toddler had moved out of the home they shared with Dudko’s husband just weeks before the murder.

Suspected infidelity

The deceased had suspected him of being unfaithful to her daughter and Vitalij Dudko admitted in court that she had been correct.

He testified that he took their three-year-old son to his home on the evening of Christmas Eve. He had found his wife drunk and asleep when he went to collect them for dinner and she agreed to let him take the child.

Dudko told detectives that she had a row with her mother when Ms Butautiene arrived home an hour later to find her daughter drunk and her grandson gone.

She said her mother had hit her and pulled her by her hair from one bedroom to another. She said she banged her mother’s head off a wall twice and that the deceased fell onto her bed.

Dudko said she then went to the kitchen, took a glass bottle from a cupboard, returned to her mother’s bedroom and hit her over the head with it twice.

Lack of intent can reduce murder to manslaughter and the defence had argued that she did not have the necessary intent because she was so intoxicated.

Her lawyers also highlighted the “paradoxical effect” of the various medicines she was taking, the effects of which increased with alcohol.

The jury was asked to consider another partial defence, provocation, which can also reduce murder to manslaughter.

The jury was reminded that the deceased had told the Dudkos they were bad parents and had threatened to take her grandson back to Lithuania.

Moved to Ireland

The prosecutor said the accused had wanted to reunite with her husband and her mother was an impediment to this.

The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for four and a half hours over two days. Yesterday’s decision to find her guilty was a majority verdict of 11 to 1.It was the second jury to hear the trial. Another jury failed to reach a decision in the case last year.

Mr Justice Paul Carney was told the deceased’s only other child, Tomas, had been in court last week in support of his sister. However, he had returned to Lithuania and did not wish to provide a victim impact statement.

Dudko showed no emotion as she was led away to begin her mandatory life sentence, which was backdated to when she went into custody in September 2011.