The daughter of a 49-year-old Latvian woman, whose death was allegedly made by her housemate to look like a suicide, said her mother was a happy person with no medical problems.
Eudiga Kreislere, yesterday (Wednesday) gave evidence in the Central Criminal Court trial of Egita Jaunmaize.
Ms Jaunmaize (34) of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty to impeding the apprehension or prosecution of a man, knowing or believing him to have murdered Antra Ozolina or committed some other arrestable offence at The Old Post, Main Street, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan on or about June 27 or June 28 2014, both dates inclusive.
The prosecution allege that Ms Jaunmaize did without reasonable excuse place a blue cord around Ms Ozolina’s neck so as to simulate her suicide.
Giollaiosa O Lideadha SC, defending, said on Tuesday, that his client accepts that Ms Ozolina’s death was not caused by suicide and she does not dispute that another named person caused Ms Ozolina’s death.
The court previously heard that Ms Ozolina lived in a small house, The Old Post in the village of Kilnaleck with Ms Jaunmaize and a man.
Prosecution counsel, Mr Patrick Gageby SC, yesterday (Wednesday) called the deceased’s only daughter to give evidence to the trial. Ms Kreislere agreed that her mother came to Ireland in 2004 because of economic reasons. She had no medical problems and was a happy and healthy person, she said. She agreed her mother would return to Latvia once a year and send money home on a monthly basis. Ms Kreislere said she spoke to her mother on June 26 and she was in good form.
The witness said she received a phone call from a male person on Saturday June 28, who informed her that he had found her dead mother and she had killed herself. The man who refused to give his name told her not to worry too much as the same thing had happened to his father.
Gunta Kieslina, a friend of the deceased, said Ms Ozolina was always a very happy person and she did not believe she would ever commit suicide.
The court also heard evidence from Gundega Bileskalne, who worked in the mushroom factory with the deceased. Ms Bileskalne agreed with counsel that there was an unpleasant event in the accused’s house in May 2014, when a man began threatening her for dating a black man. The witness said she got angry at him before he grabbed her by the throat.
This man later told her he had killed seven people, she asked did he regret it and he said no. She testified that she felt panic and fear when she heard about Ms Ozolina's death on June 28, saying: “I wondered how a strong character had committed suicide.” The witness said Ms Ozolina treated the accused like her daughter and would not allow anyone hurt her.
Kevin Ledwith, a financial officer who offered personal loans, said he gave Ms Ozolina a €500 loan for the purpose of a holiday on June 20.
Earlier, Gunars Asikis told Mr Gageby that Ms Jaunmaize and a man came to his house on Friday June 27, they were drinking and arguing in his front room. He agreed with counsel that when the accused was leaving she was very drunk and could not move much, the man was also drunk but he could move.
Mr Asikis said Ms Jaunmaize and this man returned to his house at 8am on the morning of Saturday, June 28. He agreed they were acting strangely and the man said Ms Ozolina had killed herself by hanging. The man asked him not to call Gardaí so they could talk.
They told Mr Asikis they had been drinking with Ms Ozolina the previous night and when Ms Jaunmaize woke up the following morning, she saw a light on in Ms Ozolina’s bathroom. She went in and saw two legs and then called this man. Mr Asikis said the man told him that when he went into the bathroom he saw Ms Ozolina’s body and a rope.
The witness agreed with Mr Gageby that the accused and the man were arguing that morning in his house and they left the room more than three times to speak alone which he thought was suspicious. The man told Mr Asikis to tell Gardaí he lived in Dublin and only came to Kilnaleck once a week which worried him. He agreed with counsel that this man had a lot of money in his wallet on either June 27 or 28. Mr Asikis said he later went to the Gardaí with Ms Jaunmaize so he could
translate for her but the man did not go.
Under cross examination by Mr O Lideadha, defending, Mr Asikis agreed that he was afraid of this man and scared he would hurt his family. He said he was not honest when he made his first statement to Gardaí as the man was waiting for him “outside”.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and a jury of seven men and five women.