Jury shown footage of murder accused chasing deceased with knife
Drug dealer Rihards Lavickis on trial over killing of Akadiusz Czajkowski in Longford
A jury in a Central Criminal Court murder trial has been shown footage of the accused chasing the deceased while grasping a knife moments before he stabbed him to death. File photograph: Matt Kavanagh/The Irish Times.
A jury in a murder trial has been shown footage of the accused chasing the deceased while grasping a knife moments before he stabbed him to death.
The jury was watching CCTV recordings, which did not capturethe actual stabbing, on the fourth day of the drug dealer’s murder trial at the Central Criminal Court.
Rihards Lavickis (26), originally from Latvia, but with an address at Annaly Court, Longford, is charged with the murder of Akadiusz ‘Arik’ Czajkowski, a Polish father-of-two, on November 1st, 2016 at Rue Noyal Chatillon, Townspark, Longford.
The father-of-one stabbed the 31-year-old to death outside Longford Shopping Centre in broad daylight. He has pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.
Det Sgt Eric Godfrey talked the court and jury through the footage on Thursday. He told Patrick McGrath SC, prosecuting, that it showed Mr Lavickis running across the street and coming after the deceased with his right arm raised.
He agreed with Mr McGrath that the accused appeared to have “an implement believed to be a knife grasped in his right fist and facing in a downward direction”.
He also agreed that he then “raised his arm upwards at the back in an arced-type movement, with the blade now facing outwards chasing after the deceased”.
Both men then moved out of shot, but their shadows remained for a short time.
Det Sgt Godfrey also gave evidence of each man’s previous convictions. The deceased had a conviction for aggravated assault of a female aged under 14 along with convictions for burglary, drink driving, damaging another’s property and drug possession. He had spent time in prison.
The accused had a conviction for possession of a knife as well as others for dangerous driving and possession of drugs for sale or supply. He had also been sentenced to periods of imprisonment.
Under cross examination by John Shortt SC, defending, Det Sgt Godfrey said he was not aware that the possession of a knife dated from when his client was 16, or that the ‘knife was being used to hotwire a car with a bunch of other youths’.
The jury later heard from retired State pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy, who carried out the postmortem on Mr Czajkowski’s body.
She told Mr McGrath that he died of a single stab wound to his chest, which penetrated through his rib cage straight into his heart. He had lost 1½ litres of blood, with the bleeding primarily internal. She said that death was principally due to blood loss from this injury. He had both drugs and alcohol in his system when he died, she added.
The trial continues before Mr Justice Michael White and a jury of eight men and four women.