A prosecutor has told a murder trial that the accused told gardai that he was going to ‘sort out’ the deceased the night before he stabbed him to death outside a shopping centre.
Patrick McGrath was outlining the State’s case to the jury today (Monday) in the Central Criminal Court trial of a 26-year-old man accused of murdering another man in Longford.
Rihards Lavickis, originally from Latvia, but with an address at Annaly court, Longford is charged with the murder of Polish man Akadiusz Czajkowski on 1st November 2016 at Rue Noyal Chatillon, Townspark in the town.
The father-of-one has pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to manslaughter. However, Mr McGrath told the jury that, according to the prosecution, this plea did not meet the facts of the case.
He said that the deceased had recently come to live in Ireland, while the accused had lived here since he was 14. Neither man was working at the time of the killing, and deceased, who also lived in Longford, had developed a drink problem.
He said that the jury would hear of a dispute and friction between them and that there had been an ‘interaction’ between them near Longford Shopping Centre the evening before the stabbing. It was Halloween.
He said that the accused had woken the following morning to find that his front windows had been smashed. He took the view that the deceased was somehow responsible and called the gardai.
“The guards were told by the accused that he was going to sort out the deceased,” said Mr McGrath. “The guards advised him against this.”
However, Mr McGrath said that the accused took a knife and went out looking for the deceased. He said that CCTV footage would show that he’d later concealed himself in a gap in a wall near the shopping centre as the deceased approached.
“You’ll see Mr Lavickis coming out from the gap and chasing or running at the deceased, crossing the road with his arm lifted and with what the prosecution says is a knife in his hand,” he explained. “The actual stabbing is not caught on CCTV.”
Mr McGrath said that there was no dispute that the accused had stabbed him three times outside a shop close to where this footage was captured. Mr Czajkowski died enroute to hospital.
He informed the jury that the accused had admitted stabbing the accused, when questioned by gardai.
“The core question in the case is likely to be intent,” he said.
“The prosecution says that when you take the various strands of evidence…, this is a case where you will be entitled to reach the conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that he intended to kill him or cause serious harm,” he continued. “If we do (prove this) you will be obliged to return a verdict of guilty of murder.”
The trial continues before Mr Justice Michael White and a jury of eight men and four women. It’s expected to run for about 10 days.