Woman goes on trial accused of murdering housemate

Woman goes on trial accused of murdering housemate
Courts of Justice generic

A 33-year-old woman accused of murder is alleged to have stabbed her housemate in the chest after her boyfriend went to his room to ask for a cigarette, a jury has heard.

Nicola Brennan, of no fixed abode, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Juris Viktorovs (36) at Shillelagh, Ballyconnell, Co Wicklow on February 10th, 2022.

Opening the case for the State on Tuesday afternoon, Fiona Murphy SC told the jury of eight men and four women that Mr Viktorovs, who was originally from Latvia, lived at the house in Ballyconnell and shared a room there with his girlfriend.

She said Ms Brennan also lived at the address with Viacestaus Narnickis – known as Young Slav – who was her partner at the time and with whom she shared a room.


She said another man they knew known as Old Slav was also there at the time. Old Slav and Young Slav worked together, she said.

Ms. Murphy said it was “fair to say” that all five were people who “drank heavily on a regular basis”.

She said Old Slav was married but would stay at the house if he was drinking with the occupants.

On the date in question, the accused and her partner were in the company of Old Slav and his wife before Old Slav’s wife dropped the three of them back to the house, she said.


Counsel said, at a certain point, the two couples were in their rooms and Young Slav came to Juris Viktorovs’ room and asked for a cigarette. She said the deceased rolled a cigarette for him and the pair spoke in Russian.

Ms Murphy said while they were speaking, the accused came in and shouted something at Young Slav and threw a knife to him, but he kicked it away.

She said it is alleged Ms Brennan then stabbed Mr Viktorovs.

Counsel said Mr Viktorovs took the knife out of his chest and lay on the ground.



She told the jury at that point, a number of 999 calls were made, and it is the prosecution’s case that the accused made a number of comments during this time.

She said it became clear that Mr Viktorovs had died and it was fair to say that things were “somewhat chaotic” in the house.

She told the jury the accused was arrested and her boyfriend, Young Slav, was also arrested. She said gardaí were satisfied Young Slav was not involved in the stabbing and no charges were brought against him.

The knife believed to be the murder weapon was found in the room, she added.

The knife was plunged into a mattress and the DNA of the deceased was found on the tip of the blade.

She said a false nail was found in Ms Brennan's room, and also in Mr Viktorov’s room.

While at the Garda station, Ms. Brennan’s clothes were seized and the blood of the deceased was found on the cuff of the pyjamas she was wearing at the time, counsel told the court.

False nails were found discarded, and they were a match for the ones found at the house, she added.

Ms Murphy told the jury they will hear evidence of conversations she had with people following her release from custody.

The accused was subsequently rearrested and detained, and the court will hear various accounts Ms Brennan gave during this time.

“The prosecution will say all of this evidence will satisfy you that she is guilty of murder,” Ms Murphy said.

She said the prosecution's case against Ms. Brennan is that she stabbed Mr Viktorovs in the chest, causing his death.

Evidence in the case is due to commence on Wednesday.

Fiona Magennis

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