A Ukrainian was jailed for three years today in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in a suitcase dumped in a canal.
Igore Derjhack pleaded guilty to assaulting and falsely imprisoning Romanian Adrian Bestea and helping dispose of his body.
The 30-year-old made the confession earlier today, just days into his trial for murder at Dublin’s Central Criminal Court.
Mr Bestea’s Russian girlfriend Marina Sourovtzeva is serving a two-year sentence for her part in the murder in July 2001.
After numerous beatings from her 21-year-old boyfriend, Sourovtzeva took three men to her flat in Sandymount, Dublin, where Mr Bestea was attacked for more than four hours.
The following day his body was crammed into a suitcase and taken on a bus to Drumcondra, where it was dumped in the Royal Canal.
Children playing on the banks of the canal found the case 10 days later.
Although 30-year-old Derjhack was involved in the assault, the court found that he was not responsible for the final fatal blow.
Mr Justice O’Neill told the court the evidence pointed towards a “tragic tale involving the most serious of crimes“.
He said: “It is clear that Mr Bestea was deprived of his liberty and subjected to appalling violence.”
Following the attack in which Derjhack took part the victim was subjected to more serious violence which killed him.
Although Mr Justice O’Neill said there was no doubt the crime merited a significant custodial sentence, he took into account a number of mitigating factors.
These included the fact that Derjhack was of prior good character and had no previous convictions.
The court also heard he had suffered remorse and at the time of the attack was an alcoholic.
Another Ukrainian man was previously convicted of assaulting and falsely imprisoning Mr Bestea.
A third man wanted in connection with the murder fled Ireland shortly after Mr Bestea’s death.
Derjhack, of Mountjoy Square, Dublin, was given concurrent three-year sentences for assault and false imprisonment.
He was given another one-year sentence, also to run concurrently, for impeding the apprehension of another man wanted in connection with the death, and helping dispose of the body.
Derjhack has already spent two years in custody since his arrest.