Man in court over attempted murder of wife in Tallaght

Monday 14 July 2014 23.40
Lounes Ouachek from Algeria pleaded guilty to attempted murder
Lounes Ouachek from Algeria pleaded guilty to attempted murder

A 45-year-old man tried to kill his wife after their marriage broke down when she pursued a third level education.

The Central Criminal court heard how Lounes Ouachek, a devout Muslim, was "unhappy with the path his wife was pursuing" when she began an engineering degree.

Ouachek pleaded guilty to attempted murder in August 2012.

The court heard he severely beat his wife with a kettlebell weight before leaving the house and fleeing the country. 

She was found by gardaí nine hours later with severe head injuries and continues to suffer as a result of her injuries. 

Ouachek was arrested and extradited from Germany six months later. 

In a victim impact statement read to the court, Ruta Ouchek said she still fears she will be killed and that her daughter will be kidnapped. 

The court heard her husband had previously taken their daughter without permission to his native Algeria.

Ms Ouchek said she still fears her daughter could be taken by "friends or supporters" of her husband who regularly travel with false documents.

The couple had separated shortly before the attack.

He had returned to Algeria in July 2012 but returned in August.

In the days before the attack he had been stalking his wife and had been checking childcare facilities and creches in the area to find his daughter.

On 23 August, he called to her home in St Dominic's Terrace in Tallaght where she handed over his belongings.

The court was told he then asked for a kettlebell weight and she remembers giving it to him in the driveway. 

She then remembers being pinned to the kitchen floor and being repeatedly hit on both sides of the head.

In her statement to gardaí, she said she was screaming for help and the more she screamed the more he hit her.

Ms Ouachek managed to get to the bathroom of the house and lock herself in. 

Lounes Ouachek left the house after pulling the blinds and locking the door. 

A neighbour became concerned after noticing their daughter had not been collected from creche and she alerted gardaí who found Ms Ouachek covered in blood lying in the bathroom.

She had suffered a number of fractures to her skull and has difficulty with movement on her left side and suffers from facial weakness.

She also suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for some time after the incident. 

The court was told the couple's relationship had deteriorated after he lost his job through injury and she had begun an engineering degree.

She said he "resented her independence" when she took up full-time education. 

Defence counsel Brendan Grehan said Ouachek was a "devout Muslim and he was unhappy with the path his wife was going on" after she began her third level education.

Gardaí told the court he had a difficulty with her education and Mr Grehan said he also had a difficulty with the social aspect of it in that she was spending periods of time away from him.

The couple separated and she had secured an interim barring order after discovering he had entered her house while she was not there. 

In her victim impact statement read to the court, Ms Ouachek said she still found it difficult to deal with the fact that the father of her daughter had tried to murder the mother of his own child and make his daughter suffer.

For the six months after the attack and before he was found and arrested, she lived in fear and had to send her daughter to live with her grandmother in the US to avoid being abducted.

She said: "I knew he would kill me if he found me. I lived with a knife in my pocket 24/7.

"I went to college with it, I went to the shops with it and I went to bed with it."

Mr Grehan said his client was in a great deal of physical, psychological and emotional pain at the time of the attack and had simply "lost the plot" when he turned up to collect his belongings, which were placed out on the street.

He said he had told gardaí he did not mean to do it and had not meant to kill his wife.

He said he panicked and left the country. There had been no history of violence and he had been a devoted father.

There was no pre-meditation or planning.

He asked the judge to deal with him as leniently as possible and said his client was offering to leave the country as a condition of a suspended portion of any sentence.

Mr Grehan said there was no evidence that any friends or supporters of Ouachek would do anything.

Mr Justice Paul Carney will pass sentence next Monday.