Friend tells Cork murder trial deceased had suggested showing lorry drivers 'who is the real Polish'

Friend tells Cork murder trial deceased had suggested showing lorry drivers 'who is the real Polish'
The scene of the incident in Fermoy in 2017.

A friend of the man found dead at the Amber station in Fermoy testified at a murder trial today that when they had metal bars in their hands the deceased said they would show two haulage drivers who were “the real Polish”.

This witness evidence was given in the trial of Tomasz Wasowicz, 45, and Marcin Skrzypezyk, 31, who are charged with the murder of Ludovit Pasztor, 40, on February 21, 2017, at the Amber filling station at Carrrignagroghera, Fermoy, County Cork. Mr Wasowicz also faces the additional charge of being in possession of a weapon, namely a stun-gun at the same date and place.

Mariusz Osail was questioned by prosecution senior counsel Siobhán Lankford. He said he came to Ireland from Poland in 2005 and had been friends for a long time with the late Ludovit Pasztor who was from Hungary but could speak Polish.

He said that on the afternoon of February 21, 2017, they bought 24 cans of beer and had about 12 each before sometime between 9pm and 10pm.

Gardaí at the scene of the incident in Fermoy in 2017. Pic: Denis Minihane.
Gardaí at the scene of the incident in Fermoy in 2017. Pic: Denis Minihane.

They decided to go to the Amber filling station to get more beer. As they left the filling station they heard a conversation in Polish from behind a parked lorry.

“So we went behind the cars and two Polish people were standing there. So we approached them to talk to them. We were drunk. We met our fellows and we wanted to talk to them. I don’t remember exactly (what conversation) but it was something unpleasant,” Mr Osail said.

He said both he and his friend, the late Mr Pasztor, were drunk.

Mr Osail – speaking through a Polish interpreter - said they returned to his house nearby and continued drinking.

“He (Mr Pasztor) suggested, ‘Give me a stick or something like this and we will show them who is Polish – who is the real Polish.’ He (Mr Pasztor) was Hungarian. I told him why should we do such a thing when we have bars. I told him to calm down,” he said.

The witness said they took two long metallic bars from an old trampoline from his garden and returned to the car park and added: “I don’t know why.”

He said he did not remember if they knocked on the door of the lorry’s cabin or if they opened the door but he said the two drivers – whom they did not know before this day – jumped out quickly. He said that he and the deceased ran away.

“I remember these drivers… took these sticks from us and hit us with the bars. I started to run away… I was beaten by the bar a few times and I fell down on the ground,” Mr Osail said.

I fell down on my back and I was trying to cover my head. After that, I went blank. I lost my consciousness.

He added that he did not see who hit him and he did not see what happened to his friend, the deceased. When he regained consciousness he tried to do CPR and called the emergency services.

Cross-examining, Tim O’Leary, defence SC for Mr Wasowicz, said that Mr Osail and the deceased had been arguing with each other on their first arrival at the Amber filling station. Mr Osail said that never happened.

Mr O’Leary said he was concerned about the fact that on their return to the station Mr Osail arrived from the front of the truck and Mr Pasztor from the back. Mr Osail said of the deceased’s route: “Maybe it was the shortest way. I don’t know what he was thinking.”

Mr O’Leary asked why they carried metal bars on that night? Mr Osail replied: “I don’t know. Nobody thought about it.”

The case goes into its fourth day tomorrow before Ms Justice Carmel Stewart and a jury of eight men and four women at the Central Criminal Court sitting in Cork.

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