Bin man killed housemate in row over butcher’s ribs

A 38-year-old man has been cleared of murdering but convicted of killing his housemate, who had failed to bring home ribs from the butcher.

The Central Criminal Court trial heard that both men had spent the day drinking with another man in their house in Laois.

The killer sent his 26-year-old housemate out to buy cider and ribs that afternoon, but he arrived home without the ribs. His housemate became “offended” when he would not go back out for them and stabbed him with a kitchen knife.

Alexander Karpovs, originally from Latvia, died of a single stab wound to the heart at his home on Spa St in Portarlington on February 15, 2014.

Deivydas Zigelis, a Lithuanian, had pleaded not guilty to his murder, but guilty to his manslaughter.

The court heard that both men worked as bin collectors during the week, but spent their weekends drinking alcohol at home.

The jurors saw photographs of their house, the floors strewn with debris, broken crockery, drink cans, and empty cigarette boxes. A garda testified that the only food he could see in the kitchen was a bag of sugar.

The accused then told gardaí that his housemate had returned from the shops with cider, but without ribs.

“I took the cider and told him go back to the butcher and get the ribs,” he said, explaining that his housemate had sat on the couch and refused to go back out.

“I got offended. I took a knife and hit him. I took the knife out of his body and put it beside the sink.”

After the jury reached a unanimous verdict, the foreman had filled in “not guilty” on the issue paper and was asked to clarify the verdict. He said the verdict was not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. He was asked to write this in full.

Mr Justice Paul Butler remanded Zigelis in custody until July 26, when a date will be set for sentencing.


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