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Man (31) to go on trial charged with murdering his partner in her home

Rita Apine was found with serious head injuries at the foot of the stairs in her rented house.

Image: Shutterstock/Piotr Adamowicz

A 31-YEAR-OLD man has been sent forward for trial to the Central Criminal Court accused of the murder of his partner Rita Apine in her Co Kilkenny home.

Renars Veigulis, originally from Latvia but who had been living at Bridge Street, Freshford, Co Kilkenny, is charged with murdering Rita Apine, 29, at Bridge Street in Freshford, on 14 May last.

The mother was found with serious head injuries at the foot of the stairs in her rented house on 14 May and the alarm was raised. She died later after being rushed to St Luke’s General Hospital in Kilkenny city.

Veigulis, who has not yet indicated how he will plead, had been remanded in custody in May and appeared again before Judge Kathryn Hutton at Cloverhill District Court on Friday when he was served with a book of evidence by Detective Garda Paul Coleman.

The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) has directed trial on indictment and a State solicitor said there was consent to the accused being sent forward for trial to the next sittings of the Central Criminal Court.

Book of evidence

Judge Hutton told the accused he was being returned for trial on the single charge in the book of evidence.

She warned him that he must inform the prosecution within 14 days if he intends to put forward an alibi in his defence. Speaking through an interpreter, Veigulis replied, “I understand”.

An order for video evidence to be furnished to defence was also made.

Defence solicitor Tony Collier said it was a “most serious matter” and applied for legal aid to include senior and junior counsel representation for his client during his trial. He also asked for legal aid for translation of the book of evidence for his client.

Judge Hutton acceded to the request.

Collier said Veigulis remains remanded in custody and he has not yet made a bail application. A date for his client’s next hearing date has not yet been fixed and Collier said he expected to be notified in due course.

Rita Apine, who had also moved to Ireland from Latvia, had lived at St Teresa’s Terrace in Kilkenny city before she moved with her young daughter to Bridge Street, Freshford last year.

Veigulis, who is unemployed, was first arrested on the day his partner was discovered seriously injured but released without charge the following day.

However, he was re-arrested four days later and questioned at Kilkenny Garda station where he was charged on 20 May 2017.

At his first hearing the following day at the district court in Kilkenny city, Detective Sergeant Sean O’Meara had said the accused replied “no” when charged and the court had heard that Veigulis was not working.

Bail cannot be granted in the district court in murder cases and he will have to bring an application to the High Court to get released pending trial.

Comments are closed as this case is before the courts.

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Tom Tuite

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