Man charged with murder of fisherman remanded in custody

A 35-year old man was remanded in custody today charged with the murder of a Latvian fisherman whose body remained unidentified for weeks.

A 35-year old man was remanded in custody today charged with the murder of a Latvian fisherman whose body remained unidentified for weeks.

Sergejs Lavrinovics, a Lithuanian of no fixed abode, appeared before Cloverhill District Court accused of the death of Igors Bondarenko, also aged 35.

Mr Bondarenko’s body was found in the water at Howth Harbour on the morning of October 4, 2006, with his ankles tied to an anchor – just seven months after he came to Ireland.

It was several weeks before the gardai formally identified him.

Detective Sergeant Gary Kelly of Howth Garda Station told Judge Patrick Brady that Lavrinovics made no reply after being cautioned.

A charge of assault causing harm, brought against him before Christmas in connection with the killing, was this morning struck out.

Sporting a shaved head and wearing a navy jacket, Lavrinovics appeared in court alongside an interpreter.

He made no comment throughout the brief hearing.

After the discovery of Mr Bondarenko’s body in the middle pier at Howth Harbour by a passer-by, gardai spent several weeks trying to determine his identity.

They publicly highlighted his distinctive tattoos, including one on his right shoulder of a crocodile or dragon, to try and find out who he was.

He was eventually identified by fellow nationals.

At his inquest last April, Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis said third-party involvement in the death could not be ruled out.

Coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty returned an open verdict.

Judge Brady today remanded Lavrinovics in custody to appear before the court again next Friday, February 15.

Mr Bondarenko had been working as a fisherman since he arrived in Ireland seven months before his death.

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