herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

Man who battered wife with kettle bell set for sentencing

A 44-YEAR-old man who attempted to murder his wife by bludgeoning her in the head with a kettle bell is to be sentenced later.

Lounes Ouachek, originally from Algeria and with an address at St Dominic's Terrace, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the attempted murder of Ruta Ouachek (35), at that address on August 23, 2012.

The court was told that the couple's marriage broke down after he lost his job and Ms Ouachek had commenced an engineering degree.

Ouachek who was a "devout muslim" "was unhappy about the path she was going on", the court heard.

injured

After he tried to kill his wife, Ouachek left the house, pulled the blinds, drove her car to Dublin airport and flew to Tunisia without telling anyone that she was injured, the court heard.

Ms Ouachek, who is originally from Lithuania, was later found lying unconscious on the bathroom floor of her home in St Dominic's Terrace after a neighbour, who collected her daughter from crèche that evening, alerted gardai.

Tom O'Connell SC prosecuting, told the court that she was initially taken to Tallaght Hospital where she had a complex fracture to the base of her skull and was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital.

The head injury resulted in bruising to the right side of her brain, which affected motor function to her face and sensory problems in her left arm and fingers.

The court heard the couple arrived in Ireland in 2005 and had married in 2011 in Algeria.

The couple had a daughter in 2007 and the court heard that Ouachek took her to Algeria without his wife's consent in February, 2012.

By May, 2012 the couple had separated and Ms Ouachek said she wanted a divorce.

Ouachek left Ireland in July, 2012 and after his return in August the court heard he was, to some extent, stalking his wife, and called to a number of childcare facilities to find out where his daughter was.

Superintendent Peter Duff told Mr O'Connell that Ms Ouachek obtained a barring order on August 21 that year.

Ms Ouachek had some of her husband's possessions stored in the boot of her car and her husband asked her where his metal kettle bell was, which was used for weight lifting.

kitchen

She handed it to him and she said her next memory was being on the kitchen floor on her back with her husband sitting on top of her, hitting her on both sides of the head with the kettle bell.

Ms Ouachek said she believed he was going to kill her, was screaming for help and "the more I shouted the more he hit me".

The court was told Ms Ouachek was not located until eight or nine hours after events had taken place.

Ouachek was arrested in Germany in February 19, 2013 and was extradited back to Ireland the following month.

When charged Ouachek told gardai "I didn't mean to do that, it was an accident."

The court heard that the couple's relationship had deteriorated after he lost his job through injury and she had started a degree in structural engineering.

Under cross-examination Supt Duff agreed with Mr Brendan Grehan that Ms Ouachek had commenced third level education and his client who was a "devout muslim" "was unhappy about the path she was going on."

A letter was handed into court saying that Ouachek, who had received compensation from a workplace accident, instructed his solicitor to hand over €12,000 to his wife.

The court heard UCD has restructured her degree so she can continue with her studies.

Mr Justice Paul Carney further remanded Ouachek in custody and adjourned sentencing until Monday next.

hnews@herald.ie

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