Tuesday 17 September 2019

Woman jailed for four years over manslaughter of violent lover

‘Treated roughly’: Inga Ozolina said her boyfriend made life ‘living hell’. Photo: Collins Courts
‘Treated roughly’: Inga Ozolina said her boyfriend made life ‘living hell’. Photo: Collins Courts

Alison O'Riordan

A woman who claimed her violent alcoholic boyfriend made her life "a living hell" has been jailed for four years for his manslaughter.

Sentencing Inga Ozolina at the Central Criminal Court yesterday, Mr Justice Alexander Owens said the mother-of-two regretted that her former partner died, but did not accept responsibility for his death.

"There is no doubt that the activity of the defendant and the fracas was not purely defensive," noted the judge, adding that Ozolina had lost self-control on the night.

However, Mr Justice Owens said it was relevant that the accused woman had been "assaulted, beaten and treated roughly" by the deceased on other occasions and this must have reflected her judgment of him.

Ozolina (48), who is originally from Latvia, told detectives that during a row that turned violent her boyfriend Audrius Pukas (40) pulled her hair, pushed her towards the floor and began hitting and biting her.

At Ozolina's sentence hearing, her defence team submitted she was possibly under "deadly attack" at the time.

She had previously obtained two safety orders against him. However, these had lapsed at the time of his death.

Ozolina, of Old Court Church, Mountrath, Co Laois, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of the manslaughter of Lithuanian native Mr Pukas (40) by a jury on May 29.

She had pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Pukas at The Malthouse, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, on November 20, 2016.

He died from a stab wound to his chest.

Ozolina told gardaí domestic violence was an ongoing problem in their relationship.

"My life is just a living hell," she said.

Irish Independent

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