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Court hears accused told landlady that "he thought he had killed a man"

Liam Power (wearing white hoodie)
Liam Power (wearing white hoodie)

A murder accused told his landlady that "he thought he had killed a man,” a trial jury has heard.

Liam Power (52) of no fixed abode is charged with murdering Gints Intembergs (41) at Graigowen, Tullow, Co Carlow between the 15th and 16th of September, 2014.

When arraigned at the Central Criminal Court, Mr Power pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.

This plea was not accepted by the State and a jury was sworn in to try him and his co-accused.

Mr Power also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Aigar Sildars, causing him harm at the same address and on the same dates.

Dzintars Sackalausks (33) of Barrowvale, Graiguecullen, Co Carlow is also charged with murdering Gints Intembergs at the same address and on the same dates.

Dzintars Zakalauskas (wearing blue and white hoodie)

 He pleaded not guilty to the charge. Mr Sackalausks also pleaded not guilty to assaulting Aigar Sildars, causing him harm at the same address and on the same dates.

Yesterday Counsel for the State, Mr Conor O’Doherty BL called Detective Garda David O’Leary of the Ballistics Section of the Garda Technical Bureau, to give evidence.

The garda witness told the court that he attended a house at Graigowen, Tullow, Co Carlow on September 16 when he saw the deceased lying on the kitchen floor, partially covered with a duvet.

“He was wearing a partially burned blue and white top. It seemed that the origin of the fire had occurred on the lower left hand side of the body but there was no source of ignition present,” he said.

The following day the garda witness returned to the house at Graigowen where he noted fifteen different areas of blood-staining and took possession of certain items from the kitchen. 

These included a duvet cover, torn boxer shorts, torn denim shirts and a sample of burnt paper and ash which was under the deceased’s body on the kitchen floor.

Gda O’Leary said he also took torn underpants and a belt from the living room.

DNA swabs were also taken from a Suzuki car and all of these items were handed over to Forensic Science Ireland.

The prosecution called Dolores Kenny, who owned a house at Shaw Park in Carlow town, to give evidence. 

She told the court that she rented this house out to Liam Power and three other men. 

Dzintars Sackalausks had previously been a resident of the house at Shaw Park, she said.

On the evening of September 15 Mr Power and Mr Sackalausks were in her house.

She left the two men downstairs in her house when she went to bed at 8.30pm that night.

At 10pm she got out of bed and saw that a Suzuki car she had for sale was no longer outside her house.

The next morning Ms Kenny went to the house at Shaw Park where she met Mr Power.

The witness told the court that Mr Power was wearing white runners that morning.

“I said to him is that blood on his runners,” she said. 

Ms Kenny said that Mr Power went to the bathroom during their conversation “to rub blood from his runners which didn’t come off.”

“It was the blood from the man,” she said. 

Mr Power told her he had got into a fight the previous evening and “as time went on he started saying he thought he had killed a man,” she said.

Mr Power told her he drove to Tullow with Mr Sackalausks the previous evening and went to the deceased’s house. 

“Liam told me when he walked in there was a tall man and Dzintars introduced them and they got on OK in the beginning and it went into an arm wrestling match and Liam said this man won the arm wrestle,” said Ms Kenny.

Mr Power told Ms Kenny that this man said to him: “You’re not such a big man now” and then slapped him across the face, the court heard.

“He (Mr Power) said he hit him over the head with an ashtray. We didn’t believe what he was telling us in the beginning. He said when he was on the ground he kept kicking him in the head and face,” said Ms Kenny. 

The court heard that after Mr Power told them this, the gardai knocked at the door.

Ms Kenny agreed with Mr Michael Delaney SC, defending Mr Power, that she could not understand him on the previous evening when he arrived at her house as he had taken drugs. 

The witness also told Mr Delaney that Mr Power “was more offended with the slap in the face than the arm wrestle itself.”

“He said he lost it altogether,” she added.

The prosecution also called Thomas Giltrap, who lived at Shaw Park in Carlow town with Mr Power, to give evidence.

The court heard that on the morning of September 16 Mr Power told Mr Giltrap that he had been in a row in Tullow the previous night and “he thought he was after killing someone.”

“He said there was an arm wrestle and he got a slap in the face,” said the witness.

The court heard that Mr Power’s runners were “covered in blood” and he cleaned them with “his stocking.”

The trial continues before Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy and a jury of five men and seven women.