June 9, 2023

NOT GUILTY: Man acquitted of partner’s murder at their Co Kilkenny home

A MAN who was charged with murder despite telling gardai that his partner fell down the stairs of their county Kilkenny home has been acquitted of her murder by a jury at the Central Criminal Court.

Justice Tara Burns thanked the jury of eight men and four women and told Rehars Veigulis: “You are free to go.”

Mr Veigulis (32) of Bridge Street in Freshford was charged with murdering his partner Rita Apine (aged 29) at their home on or about May 14, 2017.

Mr Veigulis, a Latvian national, maintained from the outset that he was playing with his daughter and heard a “boom, boom, boom”. When he looked into the hallway he saw his partner at the bottom of the stairs with blood coming from her head.

A pathologist said Ms Apine’s injuries were not consistent with a simple fall down the stairs and that she had never seen some of the injuries caused by such a fall.

Mr Veigulis’s defence barrister Michael Bowman SC, instructed by Tony Collier Solicitors, asked the jury not to convict on the basis that the pathologist had not seen such injuries before.

“You fall down stairs in as many ways as there are people who fall down stairs,” he said.

The jury took 10 hours and 21 minutes to reach their verdict.

An emotional Mr Veigulis wiped his eyes and hugged his lawyers following the not guilty verdict.


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