Accused had blood on his trousers when he informed partner he stuck knife in victim's 'belly'

Longford Murder Trial: Day 3 - Afternoon

Eoin Reynolds

Reporter:

Eoin Reynolds

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newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Accused had blood on his trousers when he informed partner he stuck knife in victim's 'belly'

Rihards Lavickis, Annaly Court, Longford (inset right) has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the manslaughter of Akadiusz 'Arek' Czajkowski (inset left) at Rue Noyal Chatillon, Longford.

The partner of a Latvian man accused of murder has told his trial that he was beaten up by the deceased months before the fatal stabbing.


Inita Rozkalne gave evidence in the trial of Rihards Lavickis, a 25-year-old Latvian father of one with an address at Annaly Court, Longford.

Mr Lavickis 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.


Ms Rozkalne told prosecuting counsel Patrick McGrath SC that Mr Czajkowski, whom she knew as Arthur, called to the home she shared with the accused about six months before the stabbing.


Mr Lavickis went outside with Mr Czajkowski. About four minutes later the witness heard somebody calling for help and when she opened the door she saw her partner on the ground and Mr Czajkowski on top of him, hitting him with his fists. An older man who was with Mr Czajkowski was kicking Mr Lavickis. She told them her children were inside and that she was going to call the guards.


After that, she said Mr Lavickis did not get drugs from Mr Czajkowski, something he had done previously.


On Halloween night 2016 Ms Rozkalne went to bed about midnight and Mr Lavickis arrived a short time after that. At 8am the following morning she went downstairs and saw her front window was broken. Rihards came down and called the local garda station. Gardai arrived and said somebody would call to look for finger prints.


Ms Rozkalne told her partner he was "mad" to call gardai because there were cocaine and tablets in the house. He took the drugs with him when he went to meet another man at Tesco in Longford Shopping Centre.


Ten minutes later Mr Lavickis returned to the apartment, "looking very different" and his trousers had a little bit of blood on them. He told her: "I fight with this Arthur guy" and, "I did it with a knife."


He told her that he stuck the knife in Mr Czajkowski's "belly" and that he stabbed him twice. The couple then argued and Mr Lavickis told her to "f*** off".

A short time later two other men arrived and they all gathered in the bedroom. Mr Lavickis told them that he had met Mr Czajkowski in Tesco and cut him twice with a knife. The three men were drinking beer when gardai arrived and took Mr Lavickis away.


Ms Rozkalne later found a knife that she believed her partner had used to stab Mr Czajkowski. One of the men told her he would throw it away and took it from her.


The witness will be cross-examined by defence counsel tomorrow (Wednesday, February 14).


Earlier, the court heard that the accused told a garda that the deceased was "always at me" and that he was "going to sort him out" hours before he carried out the fatal stabbing.


Garda Daniel Lynch told Mr McGrath that the accused man, Rihards Lavickis, complained that the deceased had broken his windows the previous night. Mr Lavickis told Garda Lynch: "He's always at me and he always wants to fight with me."


When Mr Lavickis told Garda Lynch that he would "sort him out", the garda told him not to sort it out and that gardai would look into the matter of the broken windows.


Mr Czajkowski was stabbed three times at about 11.45am on the same morning that Garda Lynch spoke with the accused.


Detective Garda Damien McGovern said he was at the apartment when Mr Lavickis was taken into custody following the stabbing.

He said the accused was asked if there had been an incident earlier that day and he replied: "With the big fella?" before telling them there had been an interaction. He told them that Mr Czajkowski had attacked and chased him the previous night and then broke his windows.

He agreed to go to the garda station and when Det Gda McGovern asked him if he had anything on him, he replied: "No. The knife is upstairs."


The trial continues tomorrow in front of Justice Una Ni Raifeartaigh and a jury of six men and six women.

The trial as it happened:

Day 1, Thursday, February 8 (morning): 

Longford manslaughter plea rejected at Central Criminal Court

Day 1, Thursday, February 8 (afternoon):

Jury sworn in for Longford murder trial

Day 2 Friday, February 10 (morning):

Longford murder trial hears man was stabbed after dispute over smashed window

Day 2, Friday, February 10 (afternoon):

Longford murder trial hears accused stabbed victim three times

Day 3, Tuesday, February 13 (morning):

Longford murder accused told garda he was going to 'sort out' deceased