A convicted murderer attempted to suffocate his wife after a New Year’s Eve drinks party at their home in West Cork and he also tore clumps of hair from her head and pulled off eyelash extensions which were glued on to her eyelids.
Marius Rucinskas pleaded guilty to the charge of assault causing harm to his wife on January 1, 2020 at their home at the time in Castletownbere, County Cork. He is presently living with a friend in Cork city.
Garda Laura O’Sullivan described the attack in evidence at the sentencing hearing at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
The accused had been drinking from lunchtime on that New Year’s Eve, his wife returned home from work at around 5 p.m. and that evening they had some friends over to the house where they drank beer and Jameson whiskey.
After the guests left an argument started and the accused said he was not appreciated for presents that he had bought at Christmas.
Over the next two to three hours he assaulted her several times. He left the house a number of times, drove off and then returned a short time later.
He assaulted her by punching and kicking her in the kitchen and following her upstairs to continue the assaults when she tried to hide in an upstairs bedroom.
Garda O’Sullivan said the most serious aspect of the assaults occurred when he forced her face down on to a bed and pushed her face into the bed to the extent that she was in danger of suffocation.
By 5.15 a.m. gardaí at Bantry received a distress phone call and when they tried to ring the number back it appeared to be dead.
It was later established that the accused had smashed a number of phones, laptops and the television in the house. He was shouting about how ungrateful she was for him.
“He started trying to rip off her eyelash extensions,” Garda O’Sullivan said.
The accused said that if he got €2,000 from her the next day he would be out of her life and she would never see him again.
He had a number of previous convictions from Lithuania including a 15-year sentence for pre-meditated murder and a false imprisonment-type charge.
The injured party declined to make a victim impact statement. The accused was remanded in custody for 13 months until his release in February of this year at which time he moved to Cork city, took up homeless accommodation and moved in with a friend.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin asked about the present status of the couple’s relationship. Garda O’Sullivan said, “As far as I am aware she is willing to take him back.”
Defence barrister Dermot Sheehan said that in the course of the incident on New Year’s Day 2020 the defendant suffered a broken leg and a broken arm.
Referring to the violence of the assault, Judge Ó Donnabháin said, “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 the accused would return home, Judge Ó Donnabháin said, “I am asked to take a leap in the dark. I am being asked to more or less let him go home.”
The judge adjourned the sentencing hearing until May 19 with the accused on continuing bail until then.