Details of the incident
A man in Ireland has been found guilty of manslaughter for stabbing his housemate during an argument over a poker game. Polish national Tomasz Paszkiewicz pleaded not guilty for murder charges, but he did plead guilty for manslaughter. The victim was his housemate and fellow Polish national Marek Swider.
The incident took place during the early hours of January 1, 2018 in Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan, Ireland.
Paszkiewicz was working in a meat plant and used a knife from work to stab his housemate. He had lost €500 (£448; $562), which led to him stabbing the victim twice. Paszkiewicz made several admissions about the killing on the first day of the trial.
There was a row about the poker game and the attacker invited Swider outside, where he stabbed him. The accused said that he was not thinking when he stabbed his housemate, demonstrating the lack of intent.
Another man who was present testified that the atmosphere was friendly up until the row broke out. The witness, a Czech national, described how the deceased had won the money but said that Paszkiewicz quickly grabbed the cash and stuffed it into his pocket. The deceased had responded by saying: “Wait, that’s all my money.”
The victim was taken to a hospital, but surgery was unsuccessful. The postmortem showed that the cause of death was two stab wounds in the abdomen and the chest. The murder weapon, a boning knife that had Paszkiewicz’s employee number engraved on it, was found at the crime scene. However, Paszkiewicz was not there when the police arrived.
He was later found going across the country in a bus, after which he ultimately handed himself in at one of the Cork City police stations. At first, the officer on duty thought that it was a hoax when Paszkiewicz admitted to killing his housemate three days earlier.
Paszkiewicz said: “We played cards. I drink a lot of vodka. I lost €500. I went crazy. I took this money and left. I don’t know how I had the knife in my hand. We were talking. Then I took the knife and pushed.”
Cavan police went to Cork to conduct an interview. The defendant spoke about his knowledge of using knives, having worked in the meat plant boning the heads of cows for many years.
He told police that he did not remember getting his knife from the kitchen during the argument, but said that he probably did. Speaking about stabbing the victim, Paszkiewicz said: “This is not me. Power move my hand over. I don’t decide I go stab him. I look at his face but I don’t see his face… I don’t have any thoughts in my brain. I not decide move my hand to stab him.”
The jury deliberated for five hours before coming to a majority verdict that the defendant was not guilty of murder charges. Paszkiewicz was found guilty of manslaughter and will be remanded in custody until sentencing on July 15.