Judge receives update in connection with man accused of murdering uncle in Rasharkin

Ballymena Courthouse4
Ballymena Courthouse

DISTRICT Judge Nigel Broderick said he was satisfied with information received from police after requesting a “detailed update” the previous week in the case of a Polish man accused of murdering his uncle at a cottage near Rasharkin.

Marek Marcin Sinko (37), originally from Poland with an address at Townhill Road, 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 in October

2017 and it was only when police received a pathology report earlier in the spring saying the cause of death was due to “traumatic brain injury” that the murder charge was brought.

On October 18 this year, a prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court their department had met with the investigating police officer and they were asking for a four week adjournment.

A defence lawyer told the October 18 hearing there was due to have been an update provided at that day’s court.

He said there was perhaps a need for the police to come to court to explain the position.
Judge Broderick had adjourned the case for a week saying he wanted a “detailed update in relation to the progress, or otherwise” in the case.

Back at Ballymena Court on October 25 a prosecutor said they had received an email from the investigating police officer which said the outstanding forensics were all “biology”-related.

The prosecutor said the results will be combined into one report which is expected at the end of November.

A defence lawyer said they have been provided with a toxicology report and the post mortem results.

The lawyer said he believed the investigating police officer was to have attended court but Judge Broderick said he had only asked for a detailed update and he was satisfied to have received that via email.

The case was adjourned to December.

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, a defence barrister insisted Marek Sinko still had the support of relatives in Poland over what he described as a “family tragedy”.

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