Longford murder trial hears of friction between murder accused and victim

Eoin Reynolds

Reporter:

Eoin Reynolds

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Longford murder

The cordoned off section of street at Rue Noyal Chatillon, Townspark in Longford

A Latvian father-of-one who admits stabbing a Polish man to death told gardai the deceased had smashed his apartment windows on Halloween night and he was going to "sort this out", a trial at the Central Criminal Court heard last Friday.

Rihards Lavickis (25) of Annaly Court, Longford 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.

Opening the trial, Patrick McGrath SC for the prosecution told the jury of six men and six women that the deceased, also known as 'Arek', was a Polish man who lived in Sweden for a time and then Northern Ireland where he had a partner and a number of children.

He came to work in construction in the Longford area but was unemployed at the time of his death and had "quite a drink problem" in the years up to then.

The accused is Latvian and had been living in Ireland from about the age of 14. He lived with his partner and five-year-old son and was receiving State benefits at the time.

On Halloween 2016, the evening before the stabbing, Mr Lavickis was with friends in the Longford area when a silver car pulled up and Mr Czajkowski got out.

There was an interaction between the two men and Mr McGrath said there had been disputes and friction between them before.

The accused later went home and the next morning when he awoke his front windows had been smashed.

He believed Mr Czajkowsi was responsible. When he spoke to gardai about the smashed windows he said he was going to "sort this out". Mr McGrath said: "It seems he believed Arek was responsible and went to look for him and he brought a knife."

He went to Mr Czajkowski's apartment but he wasn't there.

Mr Lavickis then met a man in Longford Shopping Centre and he was in that man's car when he saw the deceased approaching at a street known as Rue Noyal Chatillon.

Mr McGrath said Mr Lavickis can be seen on CCTV footage and it looks as if he concealed himself as the deceased walked towards the shopping centre.

As Mr Czajkowski crossed the road the accused can be seen coming from where he was concealed and running at the deceased, his arm lifted with what the prosecution says is a knife in his hand.

The fatal incident was not captured by CCTV but Mr McGrath said the accused stabbed Mr Czajkowski three times.

The trial is continuing.

For more on the trial see www.longfordleader.ie

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