Jury shown CCTV of Natalia Karaczyn on night out with friends in Sligo

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Jury shown CCTV of Natalia Karaczyn on night out with friends in Sligo

Natalia Karaczyn

A man took mum-of-three Natalia Karaczyn to his home in the early hours of the morning she disappeared before walking her home a few hours later, her husband's murder trial has heard.

Gvido Ozols told the Central Criminal Court jury that he and Natalia walked to his house and, after they were there for about two hours, he walked Natalia within 20 metres of her home after 6am that same morning.

Garda Mark Irwin, of Sligo Garda Station, has also told the jury that separate CCTV footage obtained by gardai showing Natalia walking through her front door at 6.23am that morning will be showed to the jury.

Rafal Karaczyn (34), of Crozon Park, Sligo, has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of his 30-year-old wife Natalia Karaczyn, at their family home in Crozon Park between April 29, 2018 and May 1, 2018. 

The jury has already heard that on the morning of Sunday, April 29, 2018, after Natalia had gone out with friends the night before, Mr Karaczyn messaged Natalia’s sister Magda McMorrow to say Natalia never came home after her night out. 

Gvido Ozols gave evidence at the Central Criminal Court this morning. He agreed with Bernard Condon SC, for the Director of Public Prosecutions, that on the night of Saturday, April 28, 2018, he went out with friends after he finished working at Coach Lane Restaurant where he was employed as a chef. 

He agreed that he and his friends went to The Garavogue Bar in Sligo where he met a group of people, including Natalia whom he had met before. Mr Ozols also confirmed that at around 3.30am the group broke up and moved on from the pub with Mr Ozols and Natalia going to his home in Knocknaganny Park in Sligo, getting there around 4am, before she went to leave between 6am and 6.10am.

Mr Ozols told the court that he walked Natalia to the Crozan Inn and that she then walked herself home. He said he could see she was getting to her house but he never actually saw her walking into her house.

Garda Mark Irwin, of Sligo Garda Station, also gave evidence. He told the jury that on Sunday, April 29, 2018, he became aware that Natalia was reported missing and was last seen in the Crozan Park area. Garda Irwin told Dara Foynes SC, for the DPP, that he went on to source CCTV material from the area and created a compilation disc of CCTV footage pertaining to Natalia.

He told Ms Foynes that he obtained footage from a camera attached to a property across the road from Natalia and Mr Karacyzn’s home in Crozan Park and that that footage showed Natalia entering the front door of her home at 6.23am. Ms Foynes told the court that this piece of footage will be played for the jury.

The court has this morning seen CCTV footage of Natalia and two female friends paying for items at the cashier counter of the Omniplex Cinema on Wine Street in Sligo at around 9.30pm that Saturday night; Natalia and her friends leaving the cinema just before 11.15pm; and Natalia and her friends walking into The Garavogue Bar at around 11.21pm.

A clip of Natalia and Mr Ozols walking away from The Garavogue Bar towards the pedestrian Bridge of Light at 3.33am early the following Sunday morning has also been shown to the jury.

Earlier, the court heard from Regina Zybala, a friend of Natalia’s, who said she received texts from Mr Karacyzn on the Sunday morning in which he claimed Natalia had never come home after her night out.

His messages included “Damn, Natalia never does such things”; “Nobody knows anything. I’m getting nervous” accompanied with sad face emoji; and “If she doesn’t come back by 12, I’ll go to the Garda station”.

The court has previously heard that on Wednesday, May 2, 2018, Mr Karaczyn told Natalia’s sister Magda McMorrow, in Ballymote Garda Station, that he killed Natalia. “He said ‘I did it, I did it. I killed her’,” she said.

The trial continues before Ms Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of seven women and five men.