Man found guilty of punching drinking partner’s wife

A man has been found guilty of punching his friend’s wife in the jaw after both men had returned home to continue drinking.

Mindaugas Janusaukas, a 64-year-old Lithuanian who has been living in Ireland for 14 years, was found guilty of punching Ilona Daukantiene at the home she was then sharing with her husband, Jonas Daukantas, in Kinsale on November 4, 2015.

Bandon District Court heard that Ms Daukantiene and Mr Daukantas had been married 33 years at the time of the incident but were also separated yet still living in the same apartment when the assault occurred.

Solicitor for Mr Mindaugas, Eamon Fleming, said the situation had been “like a Russian novel”.

Judge James McNulty heard evidence from Ms Daukantiene that she had been working two jobs at the time the assault occurred and had come home and gone to bed.

She said that her husband and the defendant had returned to the flat to drink and she alleged that Mr Mindaugas came into her room looking for cigarettes. She told the court that she said she did not have any and needed to get up at 6am for work.

She said she later went into the kitchen to make tea and said to the men that they should stop drinking. She claimed Mr Mindaugas then twice threatened her, telling her to get out or he would punch her.

She said he then struck her in the face with his fist. Ms Daukantiene then left the flat and went to Kinsale Garda station. The court was told that she used the out-of-hours call service since the station was closed and gardaí from Bandon responded.

She went to the doctor the next day and medical notes from that visit and a second visit to the doctor some days later noted that she had a swollen jaw which had a bruise consistent with the history given.

She still had pain and tenderness at the time of the second visit while garda photographs of her injuries taken at the station when she reported the incident were also shown to the judge.

Ms Daukantiene denied assertions on behalf of the defendant that it was her husband who had asked about the cigarettes or that she had been angry and had used abusive language towards the men.

She also denied that she had scratched the defendant’s face and that instead of him punching her, the pair had grappled in the kitchen.

The court heard that, in the statement she made to gardaí, Ms Daukantiene’s husband was alleged to have laughed and said “very good, very good” when the defendant struck her.

Mr Mindaugas denied that he had punched Ms Daukantiene and admitted that the men had shared a bottle of wine earlier at his house before going to Mr Daukantas’a home, where he said they both had three whiskeys.

He and Mr Daukantas denied they were drunk and the defendant claimed the scratches he had received had faded after two days.

Judge McNulty noted inconsistencies between the versions of events given by the two men and said that the court was satisfied that Ms Daukantiene was “a credible witness”. He also noted that, in his evidence, Mr Daukantas said “I did not see the punch”.

Of Mr Mindaugas, he said: “The court has no doubt about his guilt.”

He sentenced him to six months in prison, which was subsequently appealed.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

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