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Murder accused ‘put more effort into’ striking deceased with knife after first attempts didn’t work

The jury in his murder trial was hearing the memos of his interviews being read to the Central Criminal Court today.

Image: Sasko Lazarov via RollingNews.ie

A MURDER ACCUSED told gardaí that his first attempts to strike the deceased with a knife didn’t work so he “put more effort into it”.

The accused, who stabbed a man to death in broad daylight outside a shopping centre, admitted that he went out with a knife that day to “get him” for threatening his family and breaking their windows.

The jury in his murder trial was hearing the memos of his interviews being read to the Central Criminal Court today.

Rihards Lavickis (26), originally from Latvia, but with an address at Annaly court, Longford is charged with the murder of Polish father-of-two Arkadiusz ‘Arik’ Czajkowski on 1 November 2016 at Rue Noyal Chatillon, Townspark in the town.

The father-of-one stabbed the 31-year-old to death outside Longford Shopping Centre shortly after 11.30am that day. He has pleaded not guilty to murder, but guilty to manslaughter.

The court has already heard that the accused had come downstairs that morning to find his living room window broken, something which had happened a number of times before.

His neighbour had described the people who had done it, and the accused said he knew that it was the deceased, to whom he owed money. The gardai arrived and began an investigation.

Detective Garda Joseph Esler told Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, that he and a colleague had interviewed the accused about what he did after the gardaí left his home that morning.

“I wasn’t in the best of mood because my girlfriend, her mother and sister weren’t,” he said, referring to the three women with whom he and three children shared the apartment.

“My temperature was going up. It wasn’t just about the women. It was about the kids. He could have come in,” he said of the deceased.

“I was looking to get him for what he’d done. It just kept on happening so either I or he was getting it.”

He said that he took the knife because he had never known the deceased to have a fair fight.

“He always had someone with him. This was the chance I get him on his own,” he said.

He said that he saw the deceased and stood into an alley so that he couldn’t see him.

“I waited five to six minutes,” he said. “I was getting stressed about all he had done to me.”

He recalled then running after the deceased as he crossed the road.

I gave him a nice push in the back to turn him around. He looked around. He was very surprised. He kept on walking backwards away from me. Near the middle of the street, I took out the knife. I told him to his face what this was for. I put it twice in the stomach.

He said that he struck him a third time and was going to strike him again.

“Then I thought it’s enough,” he explained. “I turned around and started walking back to the apartment… I was just thinking I might have crossed the line.”

He was asked how much force he had used when he chased the deceased and pushed the knife into him.

“The first few didn’t really work because he was running backwards and that’s when I put more effort into it,” he replied.

He said that was his first time to take the knife, a gift, out of the apartment. He agreed that the only reason he brought it was in case he met the deceased.

“I was thinking about going to frighten him, but when it was out I went to use it” he said.

“After I was back in the flat smoking and watching everyone flipping, I couldn’t say I didn’t feel sorry for what I’d done.”

He said he’d thought then that he shouldn’t have brought the knife with him.

“That it could have been sorted with fists,” he said.

He said that the deceased had threatened to come over and kill his family.

“He said to my girlfriend, he shouted to her: ‘When Richie goes to jail, we’ll see what happens then’,” he said.

The State has now closed its case and Justice Michael White has asked the jury of eight men and four women to return to court on Wednesday.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing.

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Natasha Reid

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