Father of three strangled wife to death after she had sex with another man, court hears

Jury to decide on mental state of accused, who denies murder but admits manslaughter
Father of three strangled wife to death after she had sex with another man, court hears

A father of three strangled his wife to death when she arrived home in the early hours having had sexual intercourse with another man, the Central Criminal Court has heard.

Opening the trial of Rafal Karaczyn on Thursday, Conor Devally SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, said the accused man's marriage to Natalia Karaczyn was "not terribly happy" but they stayed living together for their three children, to whom they were devoted. 

Ms Karaczyn was "anxious to move on" from the marriage, Mr Devally said, and on the Saturday night before she died she went out with friends and went to another man's house where she had consensual sexual intercourse. 

When she returned home at about 6am her husband "intruded" into her bedroom as she prepared to go to bed, counsel said. A row erupted and Mr Karaczyn strangled his wife.

The 35-year-old, of Crozon Park, Sligo, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Natalia Karaczyn, 30,  at their family home in Crozon Park between April 29, 2018, and May 1, 2018.

Following the opening, Brendan Grehan SC, for Mr Karaczyn, said his client accepts that he unlawfully killed his wife by strangling her and that he alone was responsible for her death.

He also admits that he lied to his wife's sister and to gardaí about what happened to her.

The issue to be decided by the jury, Mr Grehan said, will relate to the mental state of the accused when he strangled his wife.

Mr Devally told the jury of eight women and four men that the Karaczyns came from Poland but moved to Sligo and in 2018.

'Functional' marriage

The evidence, counsel said, "will make clear that the marriage was not terribly happy". It was "functional" and for the sake of their children they continued to live together, sleeping in separate bedrooms.

They planned to move into separate homes but, Mr Devally said, had different views as to how that would happen. 

Of the two, he said, Ms Karaczyn was the more anxious to move on and enjoyed a separate social life from her husband. She had a number of friends and would socialise at weekends, sometimes coming home late. 

"That may have been a cause of tension," Mr Devally said.

On the Saturday night before she died Ms Karaczyn went out with friends to various pubs in Sligo where she met a young man and "quickly formed an attraction". She went to his house and had consensual sexual intercourse before getting a taxi home at about 6am. She would not be seen alive again.

Bogus calls

Mr Devally said later that morning the accused made "bogus" calls and texts to his wife's sister saying that she had not come home.

There was panic, counsel said, as Ms Karaczyn's family and friends contacted hospitals and friends "far and wide" to find out where she was.

Gardai, having checked CCTV, arrested Mr Karaczyn and after some time he told them a "story" that he had no part in her death but had discovered her body and, in panic, had moved her. 

He told gardaí that she could be found close to a roadway not far from Sligo.

Mr Devally told the jury that they will learn that Mr Karaczyn "maintained that he was guiltless" for her death and said someone else had "intruded" into the house.

He eventually relented, Mr Devally said, and told his sister-in-law what had happened: that his wife was in her bedroom when a row erupted and he strangled her.

The trial continues in front of the jury and Ms Justice Eileen Creedon.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

LOTTO RESULTS

Saturday, June 12, 2021

  • 5
  • 10
  • 17
  • 22
  • 29
  • 36
  • 25

Full Lotto draw results »