Ioan Ciotau in court on Monday. | Alejandro Sepulveda


Ioan Ciotau told the Provincial Court in Palma yesterday that he had killed his wife Lucia Patrascu because they had "got their wires crossed". He insisted, however, that he was unaware of what he had done, having suffered a temporary mental disorder.

Ciotau stabbed Lucia to death in Puerto Pollensa in May 2016. The court heard that he had drunk some fifteen beers and taken anti-anxiety pills that had been prescribed a few days previously. When his wife arrived at the apartment on the Sunday morning of the stabbing, he had asked her where she had been all night. It was then that there was the apparent misunderstanding. He went to the kitchen and got a knife. After he stabbed her, he went down to the street and told people that he would be arrested as he had killed his wife.

The sixty-year-old, originally from Romania, has no previous convictions. His lawyer, whose questions were the only ones he answered in court, called for him to be acquitted. He was under the influence of alcohol and medication that had induced temporary paranoia and made him schizoid.

The prosecution explained that there was a fierce argument between the two and that he had dragged Lucia to the balcony, where he stabbed her several times with a sixteen-centimetre blade. The prosecutor, Carmen Fernández, is seeking a sentence of 22 years and compensation of 100,000 euros for their two children.

In support of its plea for acquittal, the defence stated that compensation of a "symbolic nature" had already been made and that a house and vehicles in Romania are being processed as further compensation.