Tuesday 22 August 2017

'I will kill you' - Sister of teen on trial for murdering her boyfriend (17) told gardai she heard accused say, court hears

Dovydas Jenkus (17)
Dovydas Jenkus (17)

John Fallon in Castlebar

The sister of a teenager on trial for murdering her 17-year old boyfriend told gardai that she heard the accused say ‘I will kill you, I will kill you’ shortly before the schoolboy died from a single stab wound.

But the witness on Wednesday told a court that while she said this in a statement to gardai, the words were uttered in Lithuanian by her brother and may not have exactly translated to that.

The witness, who was 14 at the time of the fatal stabbing in December 2015, gave evidence by video link to the Central Criminal Court sitting in Castlebar, Co Mayo.

Her brother, who cannot be named because of his age, had just turned 16 at the time of the incident when 17-year old Dovydas Jenkas of Mount Street, Claremorris, died from a single stab wound in the early hours of the morning on December 15, 2015.

The incident happened at a house in Claremorris where the accused lived with his mother and his sister. They had moved to Co Mayo from their native Lithuania almost seven years ago.

The victim had also moved to Ireland from Lithuania with his family. He and the accused had been friendly and had played sport together but the court was told that, rightly or wrongly, the deceased had been blamed by the accused’s mother in an incident involving alcohol.

The sister of the accused said she had started going out with Dovydas Jenkas and, unknown to her brother, had invited him to their house late on the night of December 18, 2015.

Their mother had gone to a friend in Castlebar that night to do ‘Santa shopping’ and her brother was in his room playing video games and would not have heard Dovydas Jenkas arriving at the house around midnight as he was using headphones.

She said they spent some time in the sitting room before going to her mother’s bedroom to watch YouTube videos.

She agreed with defence counsel Michael Bowman that her older brother was protective and was a sort of ‘man of the house’ as her parents had separated in Lithuania when she was just one and there had been little contact since.

At around 2.45am her brother heard noises and tried to get into the bedroom but the door was locked. Dovydas Jenkas went into the ensuite and when the accused was let into the bedroom he tried to push open the bathroom door but the deceased would not let him in.

The accused man’s sister said her brother went back to his own room and got a homemade knife, went into the main bathroom and when he looked out he saw and recognised Dovydas Jenkas climbing out of the bedroom window.

The witness told the court her brother said ‘Oh, it’s you,’ and twice heard him say ‘I will kill you’, but she said it ‘may not exactly be that’ as it was said in Lithuanian.

Justice Eileen Creedon and a jury of eight women and four men were told that the accused went downstairs and out to the back garden. The garden was muddy and wet and was in darkness.

The witness said that Dovydas Jenkas was trying to get down from a wall and that he pushed her brother in order to jump off. Her brother pushed him back with the hand in which he was not holding the knife before Dovydas Jenkas again pushed before starting to run around a trampoline in the garden. She said that Dovydas Jenkas was saying ‘calm down’, while they were chasing, and that he would leave.

She said when she went downstairs her brother was coming back into the house, he was very upset and crying uncontrollably and saying he was sorry.

She went into the garden where she found Dovydas Jenkas lying on his back. She unzipped his jacket, there was blood, she lifted his t-shirt and she could see he was stabbed in his left upper chest. She started screaming and soon neighbours came and tried to resuscitate the teenager, with the witness using the light from her phone to help.

But the efforts of the neighbours and rapid response paramedics were unable to save the teenager’s life and at 3.40am Dovydas Jenkas, who had turned 17 a couple of weeks earlier, was pronounced dead.

The case continues today.

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