Convicted murderer tries to suffocate his wife after New Year’s Eve party in West Cork

Fisherman (44) pleads guilty to assault causing harm to his wife at their home

Marius Rucinskas, a Lithuanian national, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to his wife, Renata Rucinskeine on January 1st 2020. Cork Circuit Criminal Court. File photograph: Courts.ie

Marius Rucinskas, a Lithuanian national, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to his wife, Renata Rucinskeine on January 1st 2020. Cork Circuit Criminal Court. File photograph: Courts.ie

 

A 44-year-old convicted murderer tried to suffocate his wife after tearing out clumps of her hair and pulling off her eyelash extensions following a New Year’s Eve drinks party at their home in West Cork, a court has heard.

Marius Rucinskas, a Lithuanian national, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to his wife, Renata Rucinskeine on January 1st 2020 at their home at the Courtyard, Castletownbere, Co Cork on January 1st 2020.

Garda Laura O’Sullivan of Bantry Garda Station told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that the assault happened after Rucinskas, who was working as a fisherman in Castletownbere, began drinking around lunch hour on New Year’s Eve.

His wife returned home from work around 5pm and they were later joined by some friends for a New Year’s Eve party with Rucinskas drinking beer and Jameson late into the night.

“When the friends left, Marius became angry and started shouting at his wife - she had told him to clean up the mess he had made when he had spilled some alcohol on the floor of the sitting room,” said Garda O’Sullivan.

“They started arguing and Marius grabbed Renata by her clothes in the chest area and threw her onto the floor in the hall – Renata landed on her back and Marius began punching and hitting her.”

The assault continued upstairs when Rucinskas dragged his wife off a bed by the shoulder and she fell on the ground and as he screamed at her, accusing her of being ungrateful, he began hitting her again on the face and body.

Return

Rucinskas left the house briefly but returned and began attacking his wife again, pushing her onto the bed and hitting her head yet again before trying to rip off her eyelash extensions, said Garda O’Sullivan.

“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 back on to the bed,” she said.

“Marius then twisted her head and started pushing her head into 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.”

Rucinskas told his wife that he wouldn’t touch her again if she gave him €2,000 by the following day and he said that if she gave him the money, he would get out of her life but if she didn’t he would kill her.

Garda O’Sullivan told how gardaí received a 999 call at 5.15am and when she and her colleague, Garda John O’Shea arrived on the scene they found Ms Rucinskeine in a very distressed state but she declined any medical attention.

“I noticed on several occasions Renata putting her hands through her hair and that clumps of hair were coming out,” said Garda O’Sullivan, adding that she noticed that half her eyelash extensions on her left eye had been pulled out.

Garda O’Sullivan said Rucinskas was arrested at Knockanroe, Castletownbere at 5.25am on New Year’s Day and conveyed to Bantry Garda Station where he was questioned for several hours about the attack on his wife.

She said that, assisted by an interpreter, Rucinskas made certain admissions including that he had drunk too much and could not recall what had happened after the guests had left the New Year’s Eve party.

He said that he couldn’t remember a thing but he fully accepted all that his wife alleged had happened in her statement to gardaí including breaking a TV, a computer and a mobile phone and he was terribly sorry for his actions.

Garda O’Sullivan said that Rucinskas had come to Ireland and settled in Castletownbere in 2016, a year after he was released following a 15 year sentence in Lithuania for premeditated murder and deprivation of liberty.

Defence Counsel Dermot Sheehan SC said his client had spared the victim the trauma of a trial by his guilty plea while he also pointed out that in the course of the incident, his client had suffered a broken leg and a broken arm.

Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin said that Rucinskas’ attack on his wife was a very serious matter. “This was a fairly aggressive undertaking that went on over a period of hours. Drink or no drink, it is very hard to understand.”

As for the proposal that Rucinskas would return home, Judge Ó Donnabháin said he was slow to allow him do that without the benefit of any report as Rucinskas clearly had a history of violence given his conviction for murder.

“I am asked to take a leap in the dark. I am being asked to more or less let him go home – there is too much up in the air, said Judge Ó Donnabháin before adjourning sentencing until May 19th with Rucinskas remanded on continuing bail.