LATEST: Deceased's blood found throughout a house, court told

Update 5.48pm: A forensic scientist has told a murder trial that the deceased's blood was found throughout a house and there was evidence that a clean-up had taken place.

Monika Matracka (aged 35), with an address at The Pines, Briarfield, Castletroy, Limerick has pleaded not guilty to murdering Michal Rejmer (aged 38) at that address at a time unknown between 8pm on December 30 and midnight on December 31, 2015.

Today Counsel for the State, Mr Paul Carroll SC, called Garda Melissa Lyons to give evidence.

The witness said she was attached to the fingerprint section of the Garda Technical Bureau.

Gda Lyons said she attended The Pines on January 8, 2016 and was aware a body had been found in the back garden of the house earlier that day.

She said she assisted with removing black plastic wrapping from the body on January 9 as well as a smaller piece of black plastic which was located on the deceased’s chest.

The court heard she then chemically treated these items for fingerprints, as well as treating cleaning products located under the kitchen sink. However, no fingerprints were developed.

The witness agreed with Mr Mark Nicholas SC, defending Ms Matracka, that the plastic in the garden was weathered so this could compromise the attaining of fingerprints.

The prosecution then called Detective Garda Brian Barry, from the Garda Technical Bureau, to give evidence.

Det Gda Barry said he conducted an examination of the scene and noted a body covered in black plastic and a blood-stained duvet cover.

Det Gda Barry also noted blood-staining on the wall of the fifth step of the stairs in the house.

Up to 25 swabs from areas in the house were taken as locations for potential blood-staining and these included blood on the radiator in the deceased’s bedroom, a banister at the top of the stairs, a timber post at the bottom of the stairs, a small table at the end of the stairs, a mirror at the bottom of the stairs, inside the front door of the house, the ceiling in the hallway and a bicycle in the kitchen.

These samples were then passed onto Dr Hilary Clarke, from Forensic Science Ireland, for further analysis.

Dr Clarke told the court that she attended The Pines on January 10 to see where blood-staining was present.

She said she observed “discreet blood-staining” in the deceased’s bedroom as well as the hallway and the kitchen.

The witness testified that the DNA profile from one area of blood-staining on the wall of the stairs matched Ms Matracka and the DNA profiles from all the other blood samples around the house including the bedroom, the stair banister, the hallway and the kitchen matched Mr Rejmer.

Dr Clarke said that the probability of the DNA profiles coming from someone other than Ms Matracka and Mr Rejmer was considerably less than one in a thousand million.

The witness said that the blood-staining pattern in Mr Rejmer’s bedroom and on the banister indicated that Mr Rejmer had been bleeding upstairs and he had travelled downstairs to the hallway and kitchen where he had continued bleeding.

Dr Clarke said there was evidence that a clean-up of blood-staining had taken place in the house which included scratch-marks from metal cleaning pads on various surfaces in the house.

The witness said she was tasked with examining a knife. The handle was missing as it had been melted and the blade was covered in soot, she said.

“There was no blood on the blade and any chemical test for the presence of blood was negative. No DNA profile was obtained from the blade of the knife,” she said. The blade of the knife was 20cms long and its width was 4.5cms wide.

She added that there were no obvious drag marks anywhere in the house.

Opening the prosecution case to a jury last week, Mr Carroll told the court that Ms Matracka told gardai that she stabbed her housemate and former partner in self-defence.

Mr Rejmer was reported missing on January 6, 2016 after colleagues became concerned when he had not turned up for work at MacDonald's in Castletroy for a number of days. He was last seen on December 30, 2015.

Mr Rejmer's body was discovered by his friend and a local volunteer at the rear of his house in Castletroy under some plastic sheeting on January 8.

The court heard that one of the areas the jury will have to consider is whether the defence of self-defence arises in this case.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of six men and six women.

Earlier:

A woman charged with murdering her housemate and former partner told gardaí that she killed him but was defending herself and was "the victim", her trial has heard.

The jury also heard that Monika Matracka told gardaí she put the body of Michal Rejmer in a duvet cover as she did not want to look at him.

The accused's woman's garda interviews were read to the Central Criminal Court today on the fifth day of the 35-year-old's trial.

Monika Matracka with an address at The Pines, Briarfield, Castletroy, Limerick has pleaded not guilty to murdering Michal Rejmer (aged 38) at that address at a time unknown between 8pm on December 30 and midnight on December 31, 2015.

This morning, prosecution counsel Mr Carroll recalled Detective Garda Dave Burke, from Henry Street Garda Station, to give evidence.

Det Gda Burke said he conducted the fourth memo of interview with Ms Matracka at 7.50pm on January 9, 2016.

The accused agreed with gardaí that she killed Michal but was defending herself and said: "I was the victim not him.”

The court heard she put Mr Rejmer's body in a duvet cover and placed a pillow case over his feet as she did not want to look at him.

Ms Matracka said she kept cleaning the house as she wanted "to forget about everything."

The court heard that Mr Rejmer sent Ms Matracka four text messages late at night on December 24, 2015 where he referred to the money she owed him.

The accused denied to gardaí that she hit him on the head with anything and said she only used a knife.

When asked by gardaí what did she intend doing with the body, she said: "I couldn’t leave body inside or outside house, I was going to report it to the police. I was thinking about it (reporting it) everyday."

The prosecution counsel then recalled Detective Garda Pat Whelan, from Henry Street Garda Station, to give evidence.

Det Gda Whelan said he conducted the fifth memo of interview with Ms Matracka at 11am on January 9, 2016.

The court heard that Mr Rejmer had a serious injury to his arm in three places and Ms Matracka told gardaí she must have done it. She denied hitting him on the head and did not know how he sustained this injury.

“I don’t know what happened to his head, maybe he fell, first time at floor on bottom of stairs. He fell on kitchen floor and then a third time at sink," she said.

The accused told gardaí that she did not know how Mr Rejmer got so incapacitated that he could not fight back and why he collapsed on the kitchen floor. She said he was wobbling when she first stabbed him.

The witness agreed with Mr Mark Nicholas SC, defending Ms Matracka, that the accused had bruising on her right arm, healing cut wounds to her left hand and a bruise on her right upper buttock.

In the last memo of interview on the morning of January 10, Ms Matracka said that she used towels to mop the floor of the house on December 30 and then burnt them.

She admitted using plastic bin bags to move Mr Rejmer's body and burnt them also.

Ms Matracka agreed that the strands of hair found on Michal's hands belonged to her.

The court heard that Ms Matracka regretted everything that happened and agreed with gardaí that if she had rang the ambulance within one hour Mr Rejmer would have lived but she thought he was dead.

"I didn’t want to kill him, I did it, he dead. The worst crime I ever did was crossing the red light," she said.

Opening the prosecution case to a jury last week, Mr Paul Carroll SC told the court that Ms Matracka told gardaí that she stabbed her housemate and former partner in self-defence.

Mr Rejmer was reported missing on January 6, 2016 after colleagues became concerned when he had not turned up for work at MacDonald's in Castletroy for a number of days. He was last seen on December 30, 2015.

The court heard that one of the areas the jury will have to consider is whether the defence of self-defence arises in this case.

The trial continues before Mr Justice Paul Butler and a jury of six men and six women.


More in this Section

14 Labour councillors request 'urgent meeting' with Brendan Howlin

Stage set for Pope’s visit to Ireland

High Court challenge launched over choice of new Garda Commissioner

Gardaí appeal for witnesses following fatal Kildare crash


More From The Irish Examiner