Jury asked to consider duress in impeding prosecution case

Latvian woman charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of boyfriend

It’s alleged that Egita Jaunmaize, of no fixed abode, placed a blue cord around Ms Ozolina’s neck so as to simulate her suicide in order to make it more difficult to establish that her death was suspicious.

It’s alleged that Egita Jaunmaize, of no fixed abode, placed a blue cord around Ms Ozolina’s neck so as to simulate her suicide in order to make it more difficult to establish that her death was suspicious.

 

A jury has been asked to consider the defences of duress and reasonable excuse in the trial of a mother-of-one charged with impeding a killer’s apprehension by staging his victim’s suicide.

Both sides were giving their closing speeches to the Central Criminal Court on Tuesday morning on the sixth day of the mushroom picker’s trial.

The 34-year-old Latvian is charged with impeding the apprehension or prosecution of her boyfriend, knowing or believing him to have murdered her 49-year-old housemate, Antra Ozolina (49), or committed some other arrestable offence.

It’s alleged that Egita Jaunmaize, of no fixed abode, placed a blue cord around Ms Ozolina’s neck so as to simulate her suicide in order to make it more difficult to establish that her death was suspicious.

She has pleaded not guilty to carrying out the offence at their home at The Old Post, Main Street, Kilnaleck, Co Cavan on or about June 27th or June 28th, 2014.

However, she told gardaí she was in fear for her life and acting on her boyfriend’s orders at the time, having just seen him strangle Ms Ozolina.

The trial has already heard he has not been charged. He is currently being spoon fed as a result of a traumatic brain injury sustained months later while fleeing after a car he had hijacked crashed.

Fear

Patrick Gageby SC, prosecuting, reminded the jury the reason the accused gave gardaí for having lied initially was a fear of her boyfriend being sent back to Latvia, where he was wanted by the authorities. He said that was a matter of some importance.

“The accused did not want (him) arrested and sent back,” he said. “She was in a relationship with him, let’s be frank, not one that you or I would ever be party to either as a man or a woman,” he continued. “And she did try to conceal the fact that he was the person who killed her flatmate, the lady who had taken her under her wing.”

He also pointed to what she told gardaí after his crash, when she was still living with him: “I know now I can’t help him, I can’t change him. I’m tired trying to help him.”

“Isn’t that really the thing?” suggested the barrister. “She had consistently stayed with him and tried to help him.”

Giollaíosaí Ó Lideadha SC, defending, asked the jury a number of rhetorical questions.

“What would you have done in that situation on the night? What would a reasonable person do in those circumstances? ” he asked initially.

“(He) murdered a human being, a woman, in front of Egita’s eyes. That is the prosecution case.”

He asked the jury to consider both duress and reasonable excuse as defences for his client. He will continue his closing speech this afternoon before Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and the jury of seven men and five women.