18 Aug 2022

Laois resident had bruising and bite marks Tipperary murder trial is told

'Tempestuous and volatile relationship'

mountrat roscrea

Criminal Courts of Justice Dublin

A Laois resident accused of murdering her boyfriend in Tipperary had injuries that included two bite marks on her arm as well as bruising to her upper thigh and breast, a trial jury has heard.

Garda David Donovan was giving evidence in the Central Criminal Court trial of Inga Ozolina (48), who is charged with murdering her boyfriend Audrius Pukas (40) over two years ago in her Co Tipperary home.

Ms Ozolina, originally from Latvia, but with an address at Old Court Church, Mounthrath has pleaded not guilty to murdering Mr Pukas at The Malthouse, Roscrea, Co Tipperary, on November 20, 2016.

Mr Pukas died from a stab wound which penetrated the left side of his chest to a depth of over 25cm.

The trial has previously heard that the accused and deceased were in a “tempestuous and volatile relationship” which was “violent at times”. The prosecution contends there is “no question of self-defence” in the case.

Evidence has also been given that the mother-of-two went to a garda station in the early hours of the morning and said that she had killed her boyfriend, telling a garda: “I stabbed him. I pushed the knife into him, come quick". 

Gda Donovan told prosecution counsel Paul Murray SC that he took Ms Ozolina’s fingerprints as well as photographs of her injuries in Nenagh Garda Station on November 20.

The witness testified that the accused had pointed out to him the bruising and bite marks on her body that day. 

Gda Donovan said he took a photo of a bite mark to Ms Ozolina’s upper left arm, which measured between 5cm and 6cm.

The witness explained that he took another photo of a second bite mark to the accused’s lower left arm, which measured 4cm.

In his evidence, Gda Donovan said he took DNA swabs from the two bite marks. “It was alleged that the bite marks were put there by another person so it was quite possible their DNA would transfer,” he added.  

Gda Donovan said Ms Ozolina also indicated that she had bruising to her left elbow and he took a photo of this.

Another photo taken showed “some scarring” on the back of Ms Ozolina’s right wrist as well as bruising to her upper right thigh which measured 6cm, he indicated.

Photos were also shown to the jury of “slight bruising” to the accused’s right knee, which measured 4cm as well as “slight discolouration” to her left leg.

A third DNA swab was taken from Ms Ozolina’s right knee, the court heard.

In conclusion, the witness said he also took a photo of bruising to Ms Ozolina’s upper left arm.

Under cross-examination from Caroline Biggs SC, defending, Gda Donovan agreed that he had no specific medical qualifications.

Following this, the witness told Ms Biggs that he had also taken a photo of bruising to Ms Ozolina’s left breast. “Not unlike the other photos, various bruising was pointed out to me and I used a ruler to indicate the size of the bruising,” he said, adding that this bruise was “very slight” and measured about 3cm.

Gda Donovan told the defence counsel that he had not taken photos of bruising and scratching to the accused’s left shoulder, left thigh nor scratch marks to her ankles.

The trial continues on Monday before Mr Justice Alexander Owens and a jury of seven men and five women.

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