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Jury to resume deliberations in trial of woman charged with murdering boyfriend in County Tipperary

Natasha Reid

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Natasha Reid

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Jury to resume deliberations in trial of woman charged with murdering boyfriend in County Tipperary

The Central Criminal Court has heard that the man died at the County Tipperary scene from a stab wound to his chest

A jury will resume deliberations on Tuesday morning in the trial of a woman charged with murdering her boyfriend by stabbing him in the chest.

The mother of two has asked for an acquittal on a number of grounds, including self defence and the possibility that he came towards the knife she was holding during a fight in their Tipperary home.

Inga Ozolina (48), originally from Latvia, but with an address at Old Court Church, Mountrath, Co Laois, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Audrius Pukas at The Malthouse, Roscrea, County Tipperary, on November 20, 2016.

The Central Criminal Court has heard that the 40-year-old father of two died at the scene from a stab wound to his chest.

Caroline Biggs SC, defending, asked the jury to consider a number of things that her client said in her garda interviews. “Ultimately, you’ve to consider whether there’s a reasonable possibility that the cause of the fatal wound was him coming towards the knife, a reasonable possibility she was acting in justifiable self defence, or a reasonable possibility that she didn't have the intention to kill or cause serious injury,” said Ms Biggs. “On any of the three, she’s entitled to acquittal.”

Paul Murray SC, prosecuting, asked the jury to find the accused guilty of murder. He said that the three knife wounds to Mr Pukas could not constitute an accident. “This was not a situation of self defence either,” he suggested. “Even if you pay credence to the account given by Ms Ozolina of what happened, at the end of the day, it was she who had the knife used on an unarmed, drunken man.”

Mr Justice Alexander Owens gave the seven men and five women of the jury a third option, not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. He said that this could arise if the jury was satisfied that she had acted in excessive self defence.

He sent them out to begin considering their verdict on Friday, and they had spent a total of six and a half hours deliberating before going home for the evening on Monday. They will return to their jury room and their deliberations on Tuesday morning.