A NEW Year’s Eve party in Castletownbere ended in a vicious row when a man tried to suffocate his wife, tearing clumps of hair from her head and trying to rip off her eyelash extensions.
Marius Rucinskas pleaded guilty in Cork Circuit Court this week to the charge of assault causing harm to his wife on January 1st 2020 at their then home in Castletownbere. He now lives in Cork city, the court was told.
Garda Laura O’Sullivan said Mr Rucinskas had been drinking earlier that day and, after his wife came home from work that evening, they had some friends around and they were drinking beer and whiskey.
After their guests went home, the couple argued after the accused said he was not appreciated for the Christmas presents he had bought.
Over the next two to three hours, he assaulted his wife several times, in between leaving the house and returning a number of times.
The court heard the woman was punched and kicked in the kitchen of their home and then she tried to hide in an upstairs bedroom.
Garda O’Sullivan said the man followed her, and forced her face down onto a bed, pushing her face into the bed to the extent that she was in danger of suffocating.
At 5.15am gardaí received a phone call but when they tried to ring the number back, the line appeared dead.
They later learned the accused had smashed a number of phones, laptops and the television.
‘And he had started trying to rip off her eyelash extensions,’ the garda added.
The accused had told his wife if he got €2,000 from her the next day he would be out of her life forever.
He had a number of previous convictions from Lithuania, including a 15-year sentence for pre-meditated murder.
Mr Rucinskas, a fisherman at the time, was remanded in custody for 13 months until his release last February and then moved to Cork city.
The injured party declined to make a victim impact statement. Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin asked about the present status of the couple’s relationship. ‘She is willing to take him back,’ said Gda O’Sullivan.
Defence barrister Dermot Sheehan said that in the course of the incident on New Year’s Day 2020, Mr Rucinskas had suffered a broken leg and a broken arm.
‘This was a fairly aggressive undertaking that went on over a period of hours,’ said Judge Ó Donnabháin. ‘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.’
He adjourned the case to May 19th for sentencing, and remanded the accused on continuing bail.