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Man cries in court as he apologises for attempting to murder his wife with a hammer

Andrzej Benko has been found guilty of attempting to murder his wife at their home in Dublin four years ago.

A MAN FOUND guilty of attempting to murder his wife with a lump hammer broke down in court today while delivering an apology for the attack.

Andrzej Benko, 42, of Ladyswell Road in Mulhuddart in Dublin looked solemn but composed as the details of the case were recounted in the Central Criminal Court.

Delivering his apology through tears he said: “I want to apologise to my wife and also to her family. I am so sorry. I never hurt her before. I never meant to hurt anybody. I want to say how sorry I am to my wife and her family”.

Joanna Benko, his wife, sat at the back of the court room and remained composed throughout.

Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy said that while he was reluctant to take into account the nature of the manner a trial was contested, “the manner in which Mr Benko has approached the case is indicative of a level of culpability and contrition”.

On the morning of 5 July 2010, Andrzej Benko had returned home with ten red roses for his wife for her 32nd birthday. He initially attempted to wake her. Unable to do so, he returned with a lump hammer and struck her in the head three times.

Immediately after the attack Andrzej Benko drove himself to Blanchardstown garda station, calling the emergency services on the way to inform them about what had happened. An ambulance arrived and Joanna Benko was taken to Blanchardstown Hospital.

The Central Criminal Court heard Joanna Benko  (35) is now confined to a wheelchair. She has also developed communications problems and will depend on full time care for the rest of her life.

Prior to the attack, the couple were having marital problems, with Benko accusing his wife of taking and dealing drugs, and causing major problems for their family.

Andrezj Benko had pleaded not guilty to attempted murder but a jury last month reached a unanimous guilty verdict.

Sentencing has been delayed until Friday at 11 o’clock.

Previously: Man pleads not guilty to attempted murder of wife > 

Michael Sheils McNamee