Jury resumes deliberating in Longford murder trial despite telling judge no point in returning

Leitrim Observer reporter


Leitrim Observer reporter



The jury will resume deliberations in a Longford murder trial this morning (Wednesday), despite telling the judge that there seemed to be no point in returning.

They had spent yesterday deliberating in the trial of a 25-year-old drug dealer, charged with murdering another man more than two years ago.

The foreman had told the judge that the jury had reached an impasse. However, the judge told him that she would give a further direction this morning.

Rihards Lavickis of Annaly Court, Longford has pleaded not  guilty to murder but guilty  to the manslaughter of Akadiusz 'Arek' Czajkowski at Rue Noyal Chatillon, Townspark. The Central Criminal Court has heard that the accused admits stabbing the 31-year-old on November 1, 2016.

Mr Lavickis told his trial that the deceased came looking for repayment of a €300 drug debt and beat him with a knuckle duster several months before the fatal encounter.

He said that Mr Czajkowski and two other men chased him the night before the stabbing, and that he (Mr Lavickis) awoke the following morning to find his front windows had been smashed.

He believed Mr Czajkowski was responsible and went looking for him, armed with a knife, saying he wanted to frighten him. He said he had a "kind of a black out" when he saw the deceased, and lost self control.

The jury has been told that, if provoked, his conviction could be reduced from murder to manslaughter.

Justice Una Ni Raifeartaigh sent the jurors out to consider their verdict yesterday (Tuesday) morning. They had spent three hours and 30 minutes deliberating, when they were called back to court to be sent home for the day.

“It’s the opinion of the jury that coming back tomorrow is not going to make any difference. We’re at an impasse,” said the foreman.

“There’s a little more to it than that,” replied the judge, telling them that there was a further direction she could give them in the morning.

She told them to go home and get some rest, not to discuss the case with anyone, and to come back to court in the morning.