Saturday 24 June 2017

Five years for man who killed friend in food row

Sentencing Zigelis to seven years at the Central Criminal Court, with the final two years suspended, Mr Justice Paul Butler said when a “human being is stabbed to death in such circumstances, the charge should be murder”. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Sentencing Zigelis to seven years at the Central Criminal Court, with the final two years suspended, Mr Justice Paul Butler said when a “human being is stabbed to death in such circumstances, the charge should be murder”. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Peter Doyle

A man who fatally stabbed his housemate in the heart after they fought about food during a drinking binge has been jailed for five years.

Deivydas Zigelis (39) was found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Alexander Karpovs (26) by a jury in June this year.

Mr Karpovs, who was originally from Latvia, died of a single stab wound to the heart at his home on Spa Street in Portarlington, Co Laois, on February 15, 2014.

Sentencing Zigelis to seven years at the Central Criminal Court, with the final two years suspended, Mr Justice Paul Butler said when a "human being is stabbed to death in such circumstances, the charge should be murder".

But he acknowledged that the manslaughter conviction had been the correct one as the crime was "clearly not a premeditated killing".

During the trial, jurors were shown photographs taken inside the house the dead man and his killer shared. The images showed the floors littered with mess, broken crockery, drink cans and empty cigarette boxes.

Describing Lithuanian Zigelis as a "functioning alcoholic", Mr Justice Butler said the killing "took place in a hovel".

He said the defendant "appears to be a decent person" who has vowed never to touch alcohol again and has "shown genuine remorse".

Irish Independent

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