16 Aug 2022

Roscrea murder jury shown bloodstained clothing and bedding from scene

The jury in a Tipperary murder trial has been shown bloodstained clothing and bedding taken from the room where the body of the deceased was found. His girlfriend has denied his murder.

The jury was being shown the exhibits on Monday in the Central Criminal Court trial of Inga Ozolina (48), who is charged with murdering Audrius Pukas (40) over two years ago in her Co Tipperary home.

Ms Ozolina, originally from Latvia, but with an address at Old Court Church, Mounthrath, Co Laois has 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.

The trial has heard that the accused and deceased were in a ‘tempestuous and volatile relationship’, which was ‘violent at times’.

However, the prosecution contends that there is ‘no question of self-defence’ in the case.

Garda Larry Stapleton testified that he examined the scene following the stabbing.

He told Paul Murray SC, prosecuting, that he found a yellow t-shirt in the bedroom, where Mr Pukas’s remains were found.

“It’s heavily bloodstained,” he said, identifying the t-shirt and staining in court.

“There’s blood everywhere on it.”

He also identified a green bathrobe found in the same room. He pointed out three holes or cuts he found in the garment, along with blood stains ‘in various locations’.

He then identified two sheets and a pillowcase taken from the bed in that room.

“There’s heavy blood staining,” he said, holding up a white sheet.

He also showed the court a pink sheet that had been directly underneath the white sheet. He pointed to corresponding staining on this item.

He further showed the jury a ‘blood-stained’ pillowcase taken from the bed.

He was asked about the state of the bedroom, and replied that there had been ‘a disturbance’ there.

He confirmed that he did not find blood in any other area of the house. However, he seized a number of exhibits from elsewhere.

He explained that he had found a laptop in the other bedroom.

“It appeared to me that someone was watching it. It was paused,” he recalled.

“It was 17 minutes into a film or something.”

He also noted a picture of the accused and deceased, ‘flat down’, in this other bedroom.

“I just thought it was unusual,” he said.

He later found broken pieces of a picture frame around the living room fireplace, and a broken picture frame behind the briquette bin in the same room.

The trial continues on Tuesday morning before Mr Justice Alexander Owens and a jury of seven men and five women.

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