Courts

Partner of accused feared revenge

Eoin Reynolds

Reporter:

Eoin Reynolds

Partner of accused feared revenge

The partner of a man accused of murdering an alleged drug dealer feared friends of the deceased would come for revenge following the fatal stabbing, a trial heard this morning.
Inita Rozkalne told defence counsel John Shortt SC that somebody had tried to run her over in a car and that she didn't know what these people would do.
Ms Rozkalne was on her second day of evidence in the trial of her partner and father of one of her children, Rihards Lavickis. Mr Lavickis (25) has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Akadiusz 'Arek' Czajkowski (31) at Rue Noyal Chatillon, Townspark in Longford on November 1, 2016. His plea was not accepted and he is on trial at the Central Criminal Court.
After the stabbing, she said she was "afraid that there might be friends from Arek's side coming over." She said she had seen Mr Czajkowski and one of his friends beat up Mr Lavickis about six or seven months before the stabbing and, if they could do that, she said, "I don't know what they can do."
She added: "They can come with another friend and have a revenge."
Mr Shortt asked her about her relationship with Mr Lavickis, which she said began soon after she arrived in Ireland in 2007. They started living together in 2009 and by 2016 they had moved into Annaly Court which they shared with Ms Rozkalne's mother, sister Sanita and three children.
She agreed that Rihards was the only adult male and added: "He took care of us and was very responsible and did all the work in the house."
Six or seven months before the stabbing she said Mr Czajkowski called to their apartment looking for money that Mr Lavickis owed to the deceased for cannabis. Mr Lavickis went outside and four or five minutes later she heard a call for help. When she opened the door she saw Mr Czajkowski hitting her partner with a knuckle duster over his fist. Another man was kicking Mr Lavickis.
Following that, the windows of their apartment were broken about four times, the final time coming on Halloween 2016, the night before the stabbing. When Mr Lavickis awoke to find that his window was broken he believed Mr Czajkowski was responsible. The court heard from the accused man's friend and neighbour, Michael Godla, that Mr Czajkowski had threatened Mr Lavickis hours before the window was broken. He said he was smoking a joint with Mr Lavickis near the local Tesco when a silver Golf pulled up with Mr Czajkowski in the passenger seat. He let down his window and said to Mr Lavickis: "You owe me money."
Mr Lavickis told him: "I will give you nothing because you beat me with a knuckle duster." The witness said Mr Czajkowski responded: "I will give you a beating."
The witness and Mr Lavickis ran when they saw two men, including the deceased, get out of the car. They hid for about 15 minutes, watching the car driving up and down. When the car disappeared they went home.
The witness said he was scared because he had heard Mr Czajkowski was dangerous. He also knew that Mr Lavickis owed the deceased money for cannabis he had received "on tick".
At about 3.40am the witness was in bed and heard glass smash. When he looked outside he saw that Mr Lavickis' window was broken. The following morning he called to his friend and pointed out the broken window. He said Mr Lavickis was very angry because he knew straight away who did it. He heard Mr Lavickis say: "I will smash his windows for what he did."
He went back about his business and later on Inita told him that Mr Lavickis had stabbed Mr Czajkowski. Mr Godla said he disposed of the knife but later brought gardai to where he had thrown it into some undergrowth near Longford Town's football stadium. Gardai found it the following day. The witness agreed that the accused man had no part in the decision to dispose of the knife.
The trial continues tomorrow in front of Justice Una Ni Raifeartaigh and a jury of six men and six women.