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'I just took her and strangled her' - murder trial jury sees video of husband's interview

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Natalia Karaczyn was allegedly murdered by her husband Rafal Karaczyn at the family’s home in Sligo in 2018

Natalia Karaczyn was allegedly murdered by her husband Rafal Karaczyn at the family’s home in Sligo in 2018

Natalia Karaczyn was allegedly murdered by her husband Rafal Karaczyn at the family’s home in Sligo in 2018

A murder trial jury has watched video footage of a man sobbing and holding a roll of toilet paper to explain to gardai how he strangled his wife.

It also heard that Rafal Karaczyn was placed on suicide watch by order of a district court the day after he admitted killing his wife.

Mr Karaczyn (34), of Crozon Park, Sligo, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his 30-year-old wife Natalia Karaczyn at their home between April 29 and May 1, 2018.

At the Central Criminal Court yesterday, video footage of Mr Karaczyn's eighth and final garda interview, in which he admitted strangling his wife after she returned from a night out, was shown to the jury.

They saw footage of Mr Karaczyn crying and holding his head as he sat in an interview room with Detective Garda Paul Casey and Detective Garda Pauline O'Neill at Ballymote Garda Station on May 2, 2018.

Depression

The jury saw Mr Karaczyn rub both his eyes before he told the two gardai he wanted to admit he killed his wife.

Through a translator, he said: "Everything started one year ago, in April. Natalia said to me she want to break.

"I have depression - had. I got better until December because later on Natalia said I have to leave the house, I have to move.

"But I was in house, I stayed in house. I did everything because children. Until this night, I would like to tell you now about it."

He then told the officers he woke up when his wife came home on the morning of April 29, 2018, and he asked her: "Where are you been?"

He said he used a "hard voice" and asked the question again before she pushed him.

He told gardai he then asked again: "Where are you been?"

He said she slapped him twice and he then strangled her.

He said he felt her slide down and then he lay down with her for 10 minutes.

The jury heard Det Gda Casey then asked Mr Karaczyn to tell him and Det Gda O'Neil "exactly" what he did.

He replied: "There was too fast. I just took her and strangled her… both hands… I was under big stress."

When asked by Det Gda Casey what he did, the jury saw Mr Karaczyn held a near-empty roll of toilet paper, which was on the table, with both of his hands.

"I took her neck this way," he said.

Asked if he was saying he put both hands around Ms Karaczyn's neck, the jury saw that he nodded and heard he replied: "Yes."

Yesterday afternoon, the jury saw video footage of portions of Mr Karaczyn's sixth and seventh garda interviews.

In the sixth, on May 1, 2018, he told gardai he would "never kill" his wife.

Cameras

The jury saw that, as he cried, he told gardai: "Can you do something for me? Can you check any cameras, existing cameras from my back garden or maybe far from my back garden? This is most important for me. Because without this, everything will be against me."

The jury previously heard that, before Mr Karaczyn admitted killing his wife, he told gardai that a six-foot man with red hair and a beard had come to the back of his house and held a gun to his head.

He also said the man approached him while he was out with his children on April 28 and told him to leave the kitchen window open that night.

Mr Karaczyn said he then found his wife dead the following morning in their house and subsequently moved her body.

The trial continues.