Thursday 8 December 2016

Mother of two charged in connection with fatal stabbing of boyfriend

David Raleigh

Published 22/11/2016 | 14:09

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A mother of two charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend last Sunday, told gardai she "acted in self defence", a court heard on Tuesday.

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Igna Ozolina, (45), originally from Latvia, but with an address at 2 The Malthouse, Roscrea, was charged at Thurles District Court, with assault causing harm, to Audrius Pukas, (40), at their apartment in Roscrea, last Sunday.

Detective Garda Stuart Beattie, Nenagh Garda Station, told the court he charged Ms Ozolina at 6.12pm, Monday, in the presence of an interpreter.

Dtc Gda Beattie said Ms Ozolina replied after caution: "I disagree with this charge. I didn't assault this man. We did have a fight. I acted in self defence."

Ms Ozolina, who wore a navy tracksuit top and jeans, wept throughout the court hearing.

Sergeant Michael Keating, Nenagh, said the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed a trial on indictment, but that "there may be more serious charges to follow".

Dtc Gda Stuart Beattie, objecting to bail, said he believed the accused "may be a flight risk". Gardai also objected to bail given the "seriousness" of the charge.

Under cross examination, during the bail hearing, Dtc Gda Beattie agreed with solicitor John Spencer, that Ms Ozolina had been resident in Ireland for the past 11 years and that she was employed in a shop in Roscrea for that time.

"She considers herself well settled and a member of the community. She has no desire to leave Ireland," Mr Spencer told the court.

The accused has two young daughters, aged 24 and 22, who live abroad, the court heard.

Mr Spencer said the courts would at a later stage hear "harrowing" details in the case.

He said Ms Ozolina "has the support of her employers".

"She faces a (financial) risk of loss. Her employment is vital to her, and she will be devastated if that is taken from her now," he said.

"She's in gross shock," Mr Spencer added.

Judge Elizabeth MacGrath noted "gardai are concerned (Ms Ozolina) might go back to Latvia."

Mr Spencer said his client had readily agreed to surrender her passport, and he claimed she was "denied permission to contact her daughters" whilst in custody.

"The last thing in the world she wants is to bring all this on her daughters. She came here to work 11 years ago and she has been working ever since, in the same shop. She is very settled here and happy here," he said.

Judge MacGrath said she was satisfied the accused was settled in Ireland.

Edgars Krievs told the court he was prepared to provide an independent surety on behalf of the accused. Mr Krievs, from Mountrath, furnished the court with personal bank statements showing a balance of €4,000, as proof he could provide surety towards a bail bond.

Judge McGrath fixed bail on the accused's own bond of €1,000, which is to be lodged in court, and an independent surety of €5,000, off which €2,000 is to be lodged.

She also ordered that Ms Ozolina surrender her passport; not apply for further travel documentation; reside at her home address; not leave the Republic of Ireland; sign on three times a week at Roscrea Garda Station between 9am-9pm; and not make any contact with witnesses or the family of the deceased.

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