A MAN who killed his uncle in a “brutal fight” after a row about missing money and a bottle of vodka has been jailed for four years.
The body of Eugeniusz Sinko (53), was found in a cottage he shared with his nephew at Townhill Road near Rasharkin in October 2017.
His nephew, 38-year-old Marek Marcin Sinko admitted manslaughter last year.
It was heard that Marek Sinko moved to Northern Ireland from Poland for work in 2004.
He then arranged for his uncle, Eugeniusz Sinko, to come to Northern Ireland and when he could not get work, moved in with him to help pay his bills and debts.
However, the court was told that both men were heavy drinkers who often fought with each other.
Sinko’s defence barrister said: “Two people in the same house with the same problem was a toxic mixture.”
The court heard that on the night Eugeniusz Sinko was killed, the two men fought over missing money and a bottle of vodka.
Counsel said the victim had suffered a “prolonged and severe” assault.
While he died of injuries to his brain, he also had fractured ribs, vertebrae, as well as cuts and bruising to his face, ears, mouth and trunk.
The court was told the only injuries Marek Sinko sustained were to his knuckles.
It heard Sinko claimed that after the fight, he had left his uncle washing his face by a tap outside, before cleaning up blood in the kitchen and having a bowl of soup.
He then went to bed.
When he woke up the next morning, he found his uncle dead outside.
He said he had not been aware of the seriousness of his uncle’s injuries and had never meant to kill him.
Marek Sinko then attempted cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) before calling police and a work colleague, telling them: “I think I killed him”.
A defence barrister said Sinko loved his uncle deeply and bitterly regretted what he had done.
It was heard Sinko told police he had had “a brutal fight” with his uncle.
He told police he had hit the victim five times in the face, challenging him to get back up before knocking him down again.
In a statement read to the court, Marek Sinko’s brother said the pair had been “living on the edge” because of their alcohol abuse.
He said: “It was a big worry for my family.”
In another statement, one of the victim’s two sons said the killing had caused “division in the family”.
The statement read: “I’ve not only lost a father but a cousin”.
A judge said Marek and Eugeniusz Sinko had a “toxic and volatile relationship”.
He said Eugeniusz Sinko had been “no physical match” for his nephew and added: “You showed callous indifference to the fate of your uncle when you left him outside.”
He sentenced Marek Sinko to eight years – four to be served in prison and four to be spent on licence.
Following sentencing, Chief Inspector Peter Montgomery from PSNI’s Major Investigation Team said: “Eugeniusz and his nephew, Marek Sinko, had got into a fight with each other in their home on the night of Saturday, 21 October 2019. Eugeniusz sustained multiple blunt force injuries to his head, chest, back and arms.
“This was a senseless fight between an uncle and nephew which led to the death of Eugeniusz.
“I know that today’s sentencing will not bring Eugeniusz back to his family, who have had to live through the nightmare of a nephew having killed his uncle, however, I hope it will bring some level of closure for them.”