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Married man found guilty of murdering former partner in front of their daughter

The woman was stabbed 19 times by her former partner after their daughter was placed in her custody.

Image: Shutterstock/Pierre-Olivier

A CENTRAL CRIMINAL Court jury has found a married man guilty of murdering his former partner, whom he stabbed 19 times in front of their six-year-old daughter days after the child was placed in the custody of her mother by a court.

The 12 jurors rejected Edmundas Dauksa’s defence that he had not been “fuelled with murderous intent” when he carried out the attack on the mother-of-two under a darkened archway during the middle of the day.

It was also the defence contention that the accused had felt “wronged and wronged again” by a system which had “failed him appallingly”, after the deceased had received custody of the child in a District Court hearing days before the killing.

Instead, the jury accepted the State’s case that the defendant had intended serious harm or death when he repeatedly “plunged” a 15cm blade into the body of the deceased.

In his closing speech, prosecution counsel Conor Devally SC said that whilst it might have been painful and unrelenting for the accused not to get his way to see his daughter, something he had enjoyed for the previous six years, that was no excuse for forming an intention to lure Ingrida Maciokaite from her home and stab her multiple times.

The trial heard that the accused was a married man but had developed a relationship with Maciokaite, who was relatively younger than him and they had two children together.

An “unusual arrangement” was in place whereby their daughter lived with the accused and his wife and Maciokaite would see the child on occasion.

The young child was very much part of the accused’s family “in every sense of the word” and the defendant lavished affection on her “to an enormous extent”.

However, Maciokaite wanted more access to her daughter and asked her solicitor to have the child produced before the District Court on 14 September 2018, where the judge placed her in the custody of her mother.

Evidence was given during the trial that the fishmonger was unrepresented during District Court proceedings that the court heard had lasted for just over four minutes.

The trial also heard he had not received written word of his former partner’s intention to bring their daughter to court, despite a court order stating the court was satisfied that the application had been duly served on him.

He became “a broken man” when his daughter was “taken” from him but an arrangement was made that Maciokaite would bring the child to the accused’s house on 18 September.

However, the deceased decided not to bring the child to the house, which upset the accused and he went to talk to his former partner in the courtyard of her home that afternoon.

Dauksa (51), with an address at Castletown Road in Dundalk, Co Louth had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter for the killing of Maciokaite (31) at Bridgewater Mews, Linenhall Street, Dundalk, Co Louth on 18 September 2018.

Maciokaite’s cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the chest and back with contributory stab wounds to the face and neck.

Chief State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan testified that there were 10 separate stab wounds to the front of the deceased’s body and nine to the rear. The most serious stab wound had been inflicted to the heart and three or four stab wounds had entered the lungs, she said.

Yetunde Awosanya told the trial that she heard the child screaming outside her window on the afternoon of the killing and said: “The second scream sounded like a dog was about to attack the child, it was like a cry for help”. The witness described comforting the “distraught” child after she picked her up and carried her away from her mother’s body.

The seven men and five women found Dauksa guilty of murder by unanimous verdict. They had deliberated for three hours and 51 minutes over two days.

Following today’s verdict, Justice Paul McDermott thanked the jury for their attendance throughout the case. “These trials are not easy for the people who come in to judge them. I want to thank you very sincerely for your participation, more particularly in times where it is very difficult anyway to assemble,” he said.

Justice McDermott exempted them from jury service for ten years. He will hand down the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment on 24 May and remanded Dauksa in custody until that date.

The defendant made no reaction when the verdict was delivered.

At the outset of the trial, Anthony Callan gave evidence that he was walking past an archway at Bridgewater Mews on the afternoon of 18 September, when he heard a couple with their voices raised. “I said to myself that’s a domestic and just kept moving on,” he said.

Yetunde Awosanya testified that she was in her apartment at Bridgewater Mews when she heard a child screaming so she ran out of the building and saw Maciokaite lying on the ground. “I saw her partner walk out the gates to the other side of the road and I saw him drop a knife on the floor,” she said.

Awosanya said she picked up the child and carried her past her mother’s body but made sure that the little girl was looking away. She stopped the first car she saw and got them to an ambulance. When gardai arrived, she said she pointed out the same man she had seen leaving the scene as he had not moved from where he was across the road.

Cyril Loughran, who worked as a welder at Linenhall Street, said he heard hysterical screaming at around 2.50pm. Loughran said: “I seen the murder happening. I seen a striking motion. The woman was on the ground. I saw five or six striking motions. I didn’t see the weapon.”

Under cross-examination, he told the defence that the accused was trying to kick the body out of the way of the gate. “When he came out he looked at me and then threw the knife back down the street and it landed across the road. I seen the knife and blood on his hands and knew something had happened then [sic],” he said.

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The accused man’s son Lukas Dauksa testified that his parents had returned from a court case on Friday 14 September, whereby his sister had been “taken off them”, causing his parents some distress. “They were in very bad shock by this occurrence,” he said.

He said that his father had visited a solicitor regarding the custody of his daughter but it did not bring about any improvement or help the matter.

The witness told Michael Bowman SC, defending, that his sister was his father’s daughter from a relationship he had with another woman, Maciokaite. An “unusual arrangement” existed whereby his sister had lived with his family and was brought up by his mother since she was one month old, he said.

He said that Maciokaite would have seen her daughter on occasions and an agreement was entered into whereby she could have access to the child. He said his father was completely committed and devoted to his daughter, lavishing attention, affection and love on her “to an enormous extent”.

Following the court proceedings, the witness said his father did not get out of bed for most of the weekend and began drinking again, which he had not done prior to this. “If he wasn’t crying, he was walking in circles in the back garden,” he remarked, adding that the accused would go into his child’s bedroom, lie down on her bed and cry.

Dauksa said the accused’s mood had lifted on the evening of Monday September 17 as he had seen a solicitor, spoken to Maciokaite and was expecting to collect his daughter from school the following day. He said his father’s mood dramatically changed the next morning when he was told that he could no longer pick his daughter up from school.

Solicitor Paula Tiernan of P. Tiernan & Co Solicitors in Dundalk gave evidence that she had offered some advice to Maciokaite in relation to her accessing her right to see her child. She said that after taking instructions from the deceased, she made an application to the District Court to have the child produced on Friday, September 14. The solicitor said she was not present at Drogheda Courthouse on Friday, September 14 but had instructed a barrister to act for Maciokaite. She agreed with Devally that Maciokaite had received custody and control of the child in an “abnormal and accelerated” process.

Under cross-examination, Tiernan agreed with Bowman that the accused man had not received written word of his former partner’s intention to bring their child to court, despite a court order stating the court was satisfied that the application had been duly served on him. The accused was also unrepresented during the proceedings. Bowman said that the order issued by the District Court for the child to be produced contained two errors and “any number of irregularities had occurred in the courtroom” on the day of the hearing.

The wife of the accused man, Asta Dauksiene, said that her husband was “completely destroyed as a human being” after his daughter was placed in the custody of the deceased by the court. She testified that her husband was completely committed and devoted to his daughter, telling the court: “It was the meaning of his life”.

Dauksiene said she learned her husband was having a child with Ingrida Maciokaite, when the deceased became pregnant. The witness said that the child was permanently left in their care when Maciokaite returned to work after giving birth to the child but said the deceased was free to come and see her daughter.

Dauksiene said she met Maciokaite on Tuesday, 18 September and she understood from the conversation that the child would come over to their house that afternoon, which lifted the accused’s mood. She said Maciokaite rang her after 2pm and told her that she would not be bringing the child over to the house.

Dauksiene said her husband was upset to hear this but Maciokaite had asked to talk to him so he went to meet her on the afternoon of 18 September. She said she did not see her husband take anything with him when he left their house.

About the author:

Alison O'Riordan

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