Jury begins deliberating in trial of woman charged with murdering boyfriend

Jury begins deliberating in trial of woman charged with murdering boyfriend
Inga Ozolina. Pic: Press 22

A jury has begun deliberating 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 (aged 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, Co 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 sent the seven men and five women of the jury out to begin considering their verdict this afternoon. They had spent about two-and-a-half hours in their jury room before going home for the weekend and will resume deliberations on Monday.

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