Jury begins deliberating in Longford murder trial

Natasha Reid

Reporter:

Natasha Reid

Email:

newsroom@longfordleader.ie

Court

The jury has begun deliberating in the trial of a 25-year-old drug dealer, charged with murdering another man in Longford more than two years ago.

Rihards Lavickis of Annaly Court, Longford has pleaded not (NOT) guilty to murder but guilty (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 this (Tuesday) morning. They had spent one hour and 33 minutes deliberating by lunchtime.

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