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34-year-old Daniel Blanaru at Trim District Court today. Paddy Cummins/

Man charged with murdering his partner in Co Meath

Larisa Serban died at the house she rented at Rathmore, near Athboy, at around 5 am on Friday.

THE PARTNER OF Larisa Serban has been remanded in custody with a recommendation he undergoes a psychiatric assessment after gardai charged him with murdering the mother of two at her Co. Meath home.

Ms Serban died at the house she rented at Rathmore, near Athboy, at around 5 am on Friday.

Medics and gardaí rushed to the property, but she was pronounced dead at the scene. Ms Serban, 26, from Romania, had been in Ireland for several years.

She lived in Co. Westmeath before moving to Athboy with her family about a year ago.

The accused, Daniel Blanaru, handed himself into gardaí. Following arrest, he was taken to Ashbourne Garda station, where he was held overnight for questioning.

On Saturday afternoon, he was charged with the murder of Larisa Serban on August 12 at her home.

Mr Blanaru, 34, who is also Romanian but has an address at Rathmore, Athboy, Co. Meath, appeared before Judge Miriam Walsh at a special sitting of Trim District Court on Saturday evening.

Dressed in a blue T-shirt, navy tracksuit bottoms and runners, Mr Blanaru,  stood silently throughout the brief hearing. He listened to the proceedings with the aid of an interpreter.

Detective Sergeant Colm McNally, of Kells station, told the court that at 2.05 pm on Saturday, he arrested the accused “for the purpose of charge for the offence of murder contrary to common law, as directed by the DPP”.

The defendant was charged at 3.08 pm and cautioned that if he had anything to say, it would be taken down and used in evidence.

The court heard “he made no reply after caution and was handed a true copy of the charge sheet”.

Defence solicitor Maurice Regan said there could be no bail application at this stage.

The district court cannot grant bail in murder cases which only the High Court can consider.

Judge Walsh remanded Mr Blanaru in custody to appear again at Trim District Court on Tuesday via video link.

Mr Regan told the court the translator had been helpful during the investigation.

The judge said it was “imperative” that the accused would have the translator’s assistance at the next hearing.

Mr Regan said his client fell into the criteria for legal aid and the judge noted there was no garda objection.

Judge Walsh granted it and she also acceded to a request from the defence to direct a psychiatric assessment of Mr Blanaru in custody.

The solicitor explained that there had been “a number of issues in relation to my advice that he is not taking in”.