The Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin
A Central Criminal Court jury has found a married man guilty of murdering his former partner in Dundalk, whom he stabbed 19 times in front of their six-year-old daughter days after the child was placed in the custody of her mother by a court.
The 12 jurors rejected Edmundas Dauksa's defence that he had not been "fuelled with murderous intent " when he carried out the attack on the mother-of-two under a darkened archway in Dundalk during the middle of the day.
It was also the defence contention that the accused had felt "wronged and wronged again" by a system which had "failed him appallingly", after the deceased had received custody of the child in an "abnormal and accelerated" District Court hearing days before the killing.
Instead the jury accepted the State's case that the defendant had intended serious harm or death when he repeatedly "plunged" a 15cm blade into the body of the deceased.
In his closing speech, prosecution counsel Conor Devally SC said that whilst it might have been painful and unrelenting for the accused not to get his way to see his daughter, something he had enjoyed for the previous six years, that was no excuse for forming an intention to lure Ingrida Maciokaite from her home and stab her multiple times.
The trial heard that the accused was a married man but had developed a relationship with Ms Maciokaite, who was relatively younger than him and they had two children together.
An "unusual arrangement" was in place whereby their daughter lived with the accused and his wife and Ms Maciokaite would see the child on occasion.
The young child was very much part of the accused's family "in every sense of the word" and the defendant lavished affection on her "to an enormous extent".
However, Ms Maciokaite wanted more access to her daughter and asked her solicitor to have the child produced before the District Court on September 14 2018, where the judge placed her in the custody of her mother.
Evidence was given during the trial that the fishmonger was unrepresented during District Court proceedings that the court heard had lasted for just over four minutes.
The trial also heard he had not received written word of his former partner's intention to bring their daughter to court, despite a court order stating the court was satisfied that the application had been duly served on him.
The Lithuanian national became "a broken man" when his daughter was "taken" from him but an arrangement was made that Ms Maciokaite would bring the child to the accused's house on September 18.
However, the deceased decided not to bring the child to the house, which upset the accused and he went to talk to his former partner in the courtyard of her home that afternoon.
Dauksa (51), with an address at Castletown Road in Dundalk, Co Louth had pleaded not (NOT) guilty to murder but guilty (GUILTY) to manslaughter for the killing of Ms Maciokaite (31) at Bridgewater Mews, Linenhall Street, Dundalk, Co Louth on September 18, 2018.
Ms Maciokaite's cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the chest and back with contributory stab wounds to the face and neck.
Chief State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan testified that there were 10 separate stab wounds to the front of the deceased's body and nine to the rear. The most serious stab wound had been inflicted to the heart and three or four stab wounds had entered the lungs, she said.
Yetunde Awosanya told the trial that she heard the child screaming outside her window on the afternoon of the killing and said: "The second scream sounded like a dog was about to attack the child, it was like a cry for help". The witness described comforting the "distraught" child after she picked her up and carried her away from her mother's body.
The seven men and five women found Dauksa guilty of murder by unanimous verdict.
They had deliberated for three hours and 51 minutes over two days.
Following today's verdict, Mr Justice Paul McDermott thanked the jury for their attendance throughout the case.
"These trials are not easy for the people who come in to judge them. I want to thank you very sincerely for your participation, more particularly in times where it is very difficult anyway to assemble," he said.
Mr Justice McDermott exempted them from jury service for ten years. He will hand down the mandatory sentence of life imprisonment on May 24 and remanded Dauksa in custody until that date.
The defendant made no reaction when the verdict was delivered.
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