Man gets 15 years for attempted murder of wife

Monday 21 July 2014 20.56
Lounes Ouachek pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of his wife
Lounes Ouachek pleaded guilty to the attempted murder of his wife

A 44-year-old man who attempted to murder his wife by bludgeoning her in the head with a kettle bell has been sentenced to 15 years in prison with three suspended.

Lounes Ouachek of St Dominic's Terrace in Tallaght pleaded guilty at the Central Criminal Court to the attempted murder of Ruta Ouachek on 23 August 2012.

The court was told that the couple's marriage broke down after he lost his job and Ms Ouachek had begun an engineering degree.

Ouachek, originally from Algeria, was a "devout Muslim" and "was unhappy about the path she was going on," the court heard.

Mr Justice Paul Carney noted that when Ms Ouachek returned to full-time education "the accused appears to have resented her independence in this regard".

He described the crime as "callous and brutal in nature" and noted that Ouachek fled the scene.

After bludgeoning his wife and leaving her to die in their home in Tallaght, Ouachek pulled the blinds and drove her car to Dublin Airport where he flew to Tunisia via Paris after he could not get a flight to Algeria.

Ms Ouachek, who is originally from Lithuania, was found lying unconscious on the bathroom floor of her home by a neighbour who had collected her daughter from crèche that evening.

Ouachek was arrested in Germany on 19 February 2013 and was extradited back to Ireland the following month.

In mitigation, Mr Justice Carney told the court he was taking account of Ouachek's plea of guilty, his absence of previous convictions and noted that he was a foreign national.

He ordered that the sentence be backdated to 14 February 2013 for time spent in custody.

The judge also ordered him to keep away from his wife and undergo 18 months post-release supervision.

Tom O'Connell, SC, prosecuting, told the court that Ms Ouachek was initially taken to Tallaght Hospital after the attack with fractures to her skull and facial bones and was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital.

The head injury resulted in bruising to the right side of her brain, which affected motor function to her face and sensory problems in her left arm and fingers.

Ms Ouachek continues to suffer both physically and psychologically as a result of the attempted murder.

"My life lacks stability and certainty. I have lost confidence in myself and the world," she said in a victim impact statement, which was read to the court on her behalf.

The court heard that she still fears that her daughter could be taken by "friends or supporters" of her husband who regularly travel with false documents.

Ms Ouachek also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and the court heard that UCD has restructured her degree so she can continue with her studies.