A woman’s pet dog stood guard over her dead body, the trial of a Lithuanian forestry worker for the double murder of a mother and daughter has heard.
The trial, at the Central Criminal Court in Tralee, also heard how the dog “scraping at the letterbox” drew the deceased’s friend to look in the window and see her friend’s bloodied body on the floor.
Aurimas Andruska, aged 27, has pleaded not guilty to the murders of Jolanta Lubiene, aged 27, and her daughter Enrika, aged 8, at 9 Langford Downs, Killorglin, Co Kerry, between June 15 and June 17, 2013.
Ramute Narmute, a Lithuanian living in Killorglin, told Isobel Kennedy, prosecuting, that Ms Lubiene was “always” on the phone or the internet.
Ms Lubiene was due to return to Lithuania in July to look after her father, who had cancer, and she was going to go to her husband, Marius Lubys who was living in Sweden, she said.
She was selling her possessions, and giving away some CDs and videos, and she was giving some of her CDs “to the person who sits behind me”, she said, indicating the accused.
Ms Lubiene would sometimes leave the back door unlocked, but the front door was almost always closed.
On that Sunday, at around 8.20pm, she went to Ms Lubiene’s house, accompanied by her husband. She had been trying to contact her since Saturday, June 15.
Ms Narmute rang the doorbell but no-one answered. Ms Lubiene’s dog, a mini-pincer, was barking inside. “I was just about to leave, but when the dog started scraping the letterbox, I went back,” she said.
Speaking through an interpreter, Ms Narmute said that, looking through the right window by the door, she saw blood on the floor, and called her husband. She then went to the left side.
“What did you see?” Ms Kennedy asked.
“There was blood on the stairs, also on the wall. Then I saw Jolanta in the kitchen.” The body was on the floor. There was “lots of blood, dark black-like blood”.
Her colour was “white-like blue,” and she believed she was dead, said Ms Narmute.
When she went to the garda station she asked the policewoman to look for Enrika because she thought she was with someone else.
Garda Eamon Prendeville said he entered the house through the back door and saw the body of a woman lying on the kitchen floor “covered in blood”. The blood on the wall and floor was dry.
“The small black dog was barking around the woman’s body,” the garda said.
He did not touch the woman’s body. Under cross- examination, he repeated the dog was around the woman’s body.
The dog was protecting the body, he agreed with the defence junior counsel. He believed that, when forensics arrived, the dog was put into the sitting room.
Anne Cronin, a GP in Killorglin, was called to the house and pronounced death. She told of seeing the body of a little girl on the upstairs landing.
The little girl, dressed in top and pants and shoes, had blonde hair and she was “lying on her left side in the foetal position”.
Jolanta Lubiene had a number of male friends, posted pictures of herself on adult websites, and had slept with a knife after a drunken man mistakenly banged on her door.
She did not behave like a married woman, the trial also heard.
Cross-examined by Brendan Grehan, defending, Ramute Narmute, the best friend of the late Ms Lubiene, said the last time she spoke to her friend was on Thursday before she died, and the last time she saw her was the previous Tuesday.
Asked what she knew about the relationship between Ms Lubiene and her husband, she agreed it was “not entirely” happy.
Mr Grehan put it to her that she told gardaí Ms Lubiene and her husband, Marius Lubys, had “split up”.
However, she said she meant he was in Sweden and she was in Ireland.
He asked her if she was aware Ms Lubiene had got a protection order.
That happened a long time ago, she said, before saying she did not understand the term. She said Ms Lubiene had told her how he had “lifted a hand” against her, but that was some time ago.
She had, at one point, advised Ms Lubiene to divorce him, but her friend did not want to be a single mother, she said.
Asked by Mr Grehan if Ms Lubiene behaved “like a married woman”, she replied “No.”
She was not aware that the accused man and Ms Lubiene had had sexual contact, she said.
Mr Grehan asked her if she knew her friend had known many men and had put herself on various websites. Ms Narmute said she was registered on adult websites to meet men and her nickname was ‘Snow White’.
Taking her through her statement to gardaí, she agreed with Mr Grehan that Ms Lubiene was getting messages from men as far away as Cork and Dublin, and one website had a map with an icon pinpointing Killorglin.
“Did you say she was the type of person who needed attention?” Mr Grehan asked.
Ms Narmute replied: “Yes, she was a woman.”
Ms Narmute also revealed how Ms Lubiene slept with a knife after an incident in which a man had arrived drunkenly banging at her door in an apparent mistake.
She also agreed she told gardaí about a man who called to Ms Lubiene’s house for home-made ice-cream, about a money-lender called Kevin, and about an Irishman who worked with her who had problems with gardaí.
She denied knowing intimate details about her friend’s life, and said she did not go out socially to pubs in Killorglin and such with Ms Lubiene.
Ms Narmute agreed with Mr Grehan that her late friend had, through her computer and iPhone, put herself on adult websites and her nickname was ‘Snow White’.
The jury were given documents relating to the websites. There was a message on one, saying: “I’m lonely for someone xxx I’m seeking men.”
There were pictures of Ms Lubiene in various poses, wearing various clothing including underwear.
Asked by Mr Grehan if that was the website Ms Lubiene referred to herself as ‘SnowWhite’, Ms Narmute said she assumed so.
Ms Narmute also said that her daughter Enrika was to receive €50,000 at 18 as compensation for a traffic accident.
Ms Narmute’s husband, Kestutis Narmontas, denied there had been inappropriate behaviour between himself and Ms Lubiene. There had been flirtatious text messages — and he had deleted these and had not given them to gardaí — but “they were nothing more than joking”, he said.
The trial continues.
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