Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

I killed my husband, admits wife

A Polish woman accused of murdering her husband has pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Three days before her trial was due to begin at Belfast Crown Court, Arthur Harvey QC asked for the charges to be put to 29-year-old Teresa Rafacz again.

After some confusion, and speaking through an interpreter, Rafacz, from Glenvarlock Street, Belfast, maintained a not guilty plea to murdering her husband Piotr Rafacz on July 18 last year, but admitted his manslaughter.

Prosecution QC Ciaran Murphy told the court her confession to the lesser charge was “acceptable to the Crown”.

Beside Rafacz in the dock was her 27-year-old brother Pawel Czop, from Clifton Crescent in north Belfast.

He admitted withholding information from the police by failing to disclose he witnessed his sister kick her husband three times in the head.

The body of Piotr Rafacz was found at the home the couple shared with their young son on the Cliftonville Road.

Releasing the pair on bail, Mr Justice Hart adjourned passing sentence until January when probation reports are expected to be complete, but warned them that “doesn't mean that you will necessarily escape a prison sentence”.

The judge added, however, that the Crown's acceptance of the manslaughter plea was, in his view, “entirely appropriate”.

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