Judge asks for ‘detailed update’ in the case of a Polish man accused of murdering uncle at a cottage near Rasharkin

Ballymena Court.

A DISTRICT Judge has asked for a “detailed update” in the case of a Polish man who is accused of murdering his uncle at a cottage near Rasharkin.

Marek Marcin Sinko (37), originally from Poland with an address at Townhill Road near Rasharkin, is alleged to have murdered labourer Eugeniusz Sinko (53) on October 22, 2017.

Marek Sinko was first charged with murder in May this year and has been on bail ever since but is not allowed to leave Northern Ireland.

He was initially arrested and questioned about the death of Eugeniusz Sinko last October and it was only when police received a pathology report earlier in the spring stating the cause of death was due to “traumatic brain injury” that the murder charge was brought.

On Thursday, the defendant – who is on bail – appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court for the latest hearing in connection with the case.

A prosecutor said their department had met with the investigating police officer and they were asking for a four week adjournment.

A defence lawyer said there was due to have been an update provided at that day’s court and he said a toxicology report linked to the case has not yet been received.

He said there was perhaps a need for the police to come to court to explain the position.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said he was adjourning the case for a week when he wanted a “detailed update in relation to the progress or otherwise” in the case.

After being told the defendant works he said the accused did not have to attend court on that date.

In May this year the High Court in Belfast was told the deceased died from brain injuries. His body was discovered lying outside a cottage that both men shared.

The High Court heard Eugeniusz Sinko’s body was partially clothed, which a Crown lawyer claimed was consistent with him having been dragged outside.

A post mortem confirmed the cause of death was a traumatic brain injury.

The court heard Marek Sinko had been arrested at the time, telling police he punched his uncle five times to the face after a row broke out.

But prosecution counsel Kate McKay said more than 60 injuries were discovered on the victim’s body.

Based on the accused’s own account, she contended that the two men had a history of heavy drinking and bouts of violence.

On the night of the alleged murder they were said to have argued and fought over missing vodka and money.

Marek Sinko claimed he struck his uncle with “powerful” punches as he sat in the kitchen, knocking him against a cupboard.

“He stated that he told him ‘Get up and serve like a man’,” Mrs McKay told the High Court.

According to the defendant he went outside for a smoke at one point, and then saw the older man bare-chested and trying to wash at a tap.

He claimed that he went back inside, got himself a bowl of soup and went to bed. When he got up the following day he allegedly found his uncle lying dead.

Mrs McKay continued: “He said he tried chest pumps, but he (Eugeniusz Sinko) was stone cold.”

She argued that the victim could not have gone by himself to the outside tap because he would have been unconscious within minutes from the injuries sustained inside the property.

Also at the High Court in May, defence barrister Stephen Law insisted his client still had the support of relatives in Poland over what he described as a “family tragedy”.

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