Man who strangled wife was due to move out of family home within weeks

Man who strangled wife was due to move out of family home within weeks

Eoin Reynolds

A man who strangled his wife to death in her bedroom was due to move out of the family home within a couple of weeks, his trial has heard.

Rafal Karaczyn (35) of Crozon Park, Sligo has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter for the killing of his wife Natalia Karaczyn (30) at their home in Crozon Park between April 29th and May 1st, 2018.

The trial has previously heard that Ms Karaczyn, who wanted to end the marriage, returned home in the early hours after having sex with another man. There was an argument and Mr Karaczyn accepts that he strangled his wife, causing her death.

Marriage difficulties

Today Mr Karaczyn's employer Piotr Krawacki told defence counsel Brendan Grehan SC that he knew there were difficulties in the Karaczyn marriage. He said their eldest child's first holy communion was due to take place within a couple of weeks, after which Mr Karaczyn was to move out of the family home and stay with a friend. Mr Karaczyn had already asked Mr Krawacki to help him move his belongings.

Mr Krawacki further told prosecution counsel Conor Devally SC that following Mr Karaczyn's first arrest in relation to his wife's disappearance the accused came to stay with him. The witness remembered Mr Karaczyn was crying, he was white in the face and shaking.

When Natalia's sister, Magdalena McMorrow, arrived Mr Karaczyn told them a story about some Travellers who were threatening him and his children. The witness recalled that Mr Karaczyn said there was, "the prospect of a gun being used and his children would suffer".

The Travellers, Mr Karaczyn told him, had ordered him to leave the back door open so they could get access to the house because "they wanted Natalia".

Mr Krawacki said the accused then agreed with Ms McMorrow to go to Sligo Garda Station and tell gardaí what he knew.

Garda James Kenneally told Mr Devally that following the conversation with Mr Krawacki and Ms McMorrow, Mr Karaczyn guided gardaí to an area on the Holywell Road near Sligo.

He gestured towards a wooded area and told Garda Kenneally: "Go in there 10 metres, you will find her." Gda Kenneally walked into the wooded area where he noticed a piece of plastic that looked out of place. When he moved towards it, he saw two lady's heals sticking up from the forest floor and as he got closer he found a body with branches on top of it.

He was able to identify Ms Karaczyn without removing any of the branches,and he moved away so as not to interfere with the scene.

CCTV footage

Detective Garda Mark Irwin told Mr Devally that he compiled CCTV footage showing the movements of Ms Karaczyn on the night before she died and the movements of Mr Karaczyn on the morning of her death. CCTV footage from another house in Crozon Park showed, the detective said, "the last time Natalia Karaczyn is seen alive" as she entered her home at about 7am on that Sunday morning.

At about 7.51am, Det Gda Irwin said, Mr Karaczyn reversed his silver Peugeot up his driveway and through a side gate. Seven minutes later the car reversed out and at 8.12am Mr Karaczyn could be seen driving away from his home.

Det Gda Irwin described the silver Peugeot driving past various locations going towards Holywell Road before returning to Crozon Park at 8.57am.

The trial continues in front of Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of eight women and four men.

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