The foster carer for two children of married man Edmundas Dauksa, who stabbed his former partner 19 times in front of their six-year-old daughter, has said it was "unspeakably horrific" for the "little innocent child" to watch her mother being "brutally murdered" by her father.
"The scene has left her sad and afraid, sleepless nights, always questioning why daddy did this to her mammy. A child should grow up and have a happy and a loving childhood, surrounded with love and smiles from their parents. However, this is not what Ingrida Maciokaite's daughter is experiencing due to the fact of what she last saw of her parents," the full-time foster carer told the Central Criminal Court today.
She added: "Her children, whom she cherished with all her heart, were robbed of their mother. Her son will never remember her but unfortunately for her daughter, such memories will always and forever stay with her."
The testimony was heard as part of a victim impact statement read today to the Central Criminal Court, where 51-year-old Dauksa was sentenced to the mandatory term of life imprisonment for murdering Ms Maciokaite, the mother of his two children, days after their young daughter was placed in her custody by a court.
On May 7th, Dauksa, with an address at Castletown Road in Dundalk, Co Louth was convicted by unanimous verdict of murdering Ms Maciokaite (31) at Bridgewater Mews, Linenhall Street, Dundalk, Co Louth on September 18, 2018. He had pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter.
A victim impact statement was read to the court today by prosecution counsel Conor Devally SC on behalf of the foster carer. The carer said "the unfortunate death of our beloved Ingrida" had caused their family an enormous amount of heartache and it "was by far the most horrific day" for every member of their family.
"Each and every one of us were incredibly heartbroken and in great denial, followed by shock and disbelief," she said.
She said Ms Maciokaite was loved and adored by "every single person" who knew and met her. "She was a gentle and soft-spoken young woman, who had her whole life ahead of her. Her main priority was to have both of her children by her side and bring the most joy and the happiest memories possible to their childhood," she said.
Loyal and trusting
"She was an insanely hardworking, loyal, trusting, yet naive young woman. No matter how many times life kicked her down, she never failed to pick herself back up and keep moving forward. She never gave up on herself, even though since birth, life gave her lemons. Ingrida was a devoted and a selfless mother to her little son and longed for the day when her eldest daughter would be by her side," she said.
"Ingrida's life was no longer to be on the gruesome day as it was taken from her so inhumanely and in the most horrific of ways no one should ever leave this world [sic]. Her children, whom she cherished with all her heart, were robbed of their mother. Her son will never remember her but unfortunately for her daughter such memories will always and forever stay with her," she continued.
"Ingrida will no longer see her children grow up, she will never have the opportunity to attend any school plays, birthdays and there will be no loving family time. It is incredibly heart-wrenching to come to terms with losing a loved one," she said.
"Death, it affects everybody differently and in different ways, however for a little innocent child, who was only six years old at the time, to watch her mother being brutally murdered by her father is unspeakably horrific. The scene has left her sad and afraid, sleepless nights, always questioning why daddy did this to her mammy. A child should grow up and have a happy and a loving childhood, surrounded with love and smiles from their parents. However, this is not what Ingrida's daughter is experiencing due to the fact of what she last saw of her parents," she said.
"Ingrida's daughter has nightmares and cries very often about what happened to her mammy. I love Ingrida's children like my own and each day I put all my efforts into taking care of them and showing them what a happy childhood must look like. They are in a loving home and are taken care of just like their mother would have wanted them to grow up," she continued.
She said Ms Maciokaite's son will never remember his "beautiful mammy" and "will never have the opportunity to hear her voice when she sings him lullabies. I will always tell both of them that their mammy loved them and that she always wanted what was best for them and their future."
Unfortunately, the foster carer said that they cannot bring Ms Maciokaite back, but justice had "been done for her beautiful children".
Following the statement, defence counsel Michael Bowman SC, for Dauksa, said his client wanted to express his remorse and deep regret for the sadness he had caused.
Mr Justice Paul McDermott then sentenced Dauksa to the mandatory term of life imprisonment for murder. The sentence was backdated to September 18th 2018, when he went into custody.
Earlier this month, the 12 jurors had rejected Dauksa's defence that he had not been "fuelled with murderous intent" when he carried out the attack on the mother-of-two under a darkened archway during the middle of the day.
It was also the defence contention that the accused had felt "wronged and wronged again" by a system which had "failed him appallingly", after the deceased had received custody of the child in an "abnormal and accelerated" District Court hearing days before the killing.
Instead the jury had accepted the State's case that the defendant had intended serious harm or death when he repeatedly "plunged" a 15cm blade into the body of the deceased. In his closing speech, prosecution counsel Conor Devally SC said that whilst it might have been painful and unrelenting for the accused not to get his way to see his daughter, something he had enjoyed for the previous six years, that was no excuse for forming an intention to lure Ms Maciokaite from her home and stab her multiple times.
Lavished affection on child
The trial heard that the accused was a married man but had developed a relationship with Ms Maciokaite, who was relatively younger than him and they had two children together. An "unusual arrangement" was in place whereby their daughter lived with the accused and his wife and Ms Maciokaite would see the child on occasion.
The young child was very much part of the accused's family "in every sense of the word" and the defendant lavished affection on her "to an enormous extent". However, Ms Maciokaite wanted more access to her daughter and asked her solicitor to have the child produced before the District Court on September 14th 2018, where the judge placed her in the custody of her mother.
Evidence was given during the trial that the fishmonger was unrepresented during District Court proceedings that the court heard had lasted for just over four minutes. The trial also heard he had not received written word of his former partner's intention to bring their daughter to court, despite a court order stating the court was satisfied that the application had been duly served on him.
The Lithuanian national became "a broken man" when his daughter was "taken" from him, but an arrangement was made that Ms Maciokaite would bring the child to the accused's house on September 18th. However, the deceased decided not to bring the child to the house, which upset the accused and he went to talk to his former partner in the courtyard of her home that afternoon.
Ms Maciokaite's cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the chest and back with contributory stab wounds to the face and neck. Chief State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan testified that there were 10 separate stab wounds to the front of the deceased's body and nine to the rear. The most serious stab wound had been inflicted to the heart and three or four stab wounds had entered the lungs, she said.
Yetunde Awosanya had told the trial that she heard the child screaming outside her window on the afternoon of the killing and said: "The second scream sounded like a dog was about to attack the child, it was like a cry for help". The witness described comforting the "distraught" child after she picked her up and carried her away from her mother's body.