Saturday 10 December 2016

Mum-of-two charged over stab death says she 'acted in self-defence'

David Raleigh

Published 23/11/2016 | 02:30

Inga Ozolina arrives at court yesterday. Photograph Press 22
Inga Ozolina arrives at court yesterday. Photograph Press 22
Ms Ozolina appeared before the court charged with assault causing harm, to Audrius Pukas (40) at their apartment in Roscrea last Sunday. Photo: Frank McGrath

A mother of two charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend told gardaí she "acted in self-defence", a court has heard.

  • Go To

Inga Ozolina (45), originally from Latvia, but with an address at The Malthouse, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, was granted bail at Thurles District Court after €3,000 was lodged to the court.

Ms Ozolina appeared before the court charged with assault causing harm, to Audrius Pukas (40) at their apartment in Roscrea last Sunday.

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

Det 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.

Inga Ozolina arrives at court yesterday. Photograph Press 22
Inga Ozolina arrives at court yesterday. Photograph Press 22

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

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

Solicitor John Spencer, for the accused, told the court: "She considers herself well settled and a member of the community. She has no desire to leave Ireland."

The accused has two daughters living in Latvia and Germany, aged 22 and 24.

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 told the court.

Judge Elizabeth MacGrath noted "gardaí 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.

He said: "The last thing in the world she wants is to bring all this on her daughters.

"She is very settled here and happy here."

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 Ms Ozolina.

Mr Krievs, from Mountrath, Co Laois, 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 agreed to grant bail on the accused's own bond of €1,000 and an independent surety of €5,000, with a €2,000 cash element.

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.

She must not make any contact with witnesses or the family of the deceased.

Ms Ozolina was remanded on bail to appear back before Nenagh District Court on December 22.

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News