Convicted murderer who beat wife and tore her eyelashes out avoids jail

A convicted murderer who attacked his wife in a terrifying assault after a New Year’s Eve party has avoided prison.

Marius Rucinskas, 42, repeatedly struck his wife Renata Rucinskeine, tore out clumps of hair and pulled off her eyelash extensions in the early hours of New Year’s Day last year at their home in county Cork, Ireland.

He had previously been sentenced to 15 years in prison for carrying out a pre-meditated murder and had been released in 2015.

Garda Laura O’Sullivan told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that Rucinskas had been drinking from lunchtime on the date of the offence.

His wife returned home from work at about 5pm and that night they had some friends over for the New Year festivities, where they drank beer and Jameson whiskey.

After their friends left, a dispute arose between Rucinskas and his wife, Garda O’Sullivan said.

He claimed that his wife did not fully appreciate gifts he had purchased her for Christmas.

Garda O’Sullivan said that over the next two to three hours Ruckinskas assaulted his wife several times.

The court heard that he assaulted his wife by kicking and punching her in the kitchen and then followed her upstairs.

She tried to hide in an upstairs bedroom in a bid to avoid further injury.

Garda O’Sullivan said: “Renata was defending herself with her legs and managed to get Marius’s hands away from her face.

“Marius then hit Renata’s head off a table and pulled her on to the bed.”

Garda O’Sullivan said Rucinskas forced his wife’s face down on to a bed and pushed it into the mattress to the point that she was in danger of suffocation.

She continued: “Marius twisted her head and started pushing her head in to the bed – he started suffocating Renata and her face became red. Renata didn’t move for a few seconds before Marius demanded money from her.”

Shortly after 5.15am on January 1 Gardaí at Bantry received a distress phone call. When they tried to call the number back the phone appeared to be dead.

They later determined that the defendant had smashed a number of phones, laptops and the TV in the house. He continued to tell his wife how ungrateful she was for the presents he had bought for her.

Garda O’Sullivan said that Rucinskas tried to rip off his wife’s eyelash extensions. He told her that if he got €2,000 from her the next day he would stay out of her life.

She said when Gardaí arrived at the scene Renata was in a distressed state and her hair was falling out in clumps.

Garda O’Sullivan also noted that half of the woman’s eye lash extensions on her left eye had been pulled out.

The court heard that the defendant had a number of previous convictions from his native Lithuania, including a a 15-year sentence imposed in 2000 for pre-meditated murder and a false imprisonment charge.

The injured party declined to make a victim impact statement.

Rucinskas was previously remanded in custody for over a year in relation to the incident until his release in February of this year at which time he moved to Cork city. On that occasion he was ordered to stay out of Castletownbere.

Today counsel for the defence, Dermot Sheehan, SC, said that his client had obeyed the court in this regard.

Judge Sean Ó Donnabháin said that this was a volatile situation that occurred following the consumption of a lot of alcohol.

“It was a violent assault that went on for a period of time causing great distress to people in the home,” he went on.

He said that he accepted that Rucinskas had kept out of Castletownbere whilst acknowledging that he was a hardworking man employed in a “difficult work environment”.

Taking the year which Rucinskas spent in custody in relation to the offence, the judge imposed an 18-month sentence suspended for three years, on condition that the defendant not ordinarily reside in or around Castletownbere.

Rucinskas was also told not to have no contact with the victim and to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.

The judge said that “drink or no drink,” the case was “very hard to understand.”