A Lithuanian man who was stabbed to death had sent his alleged killer a text message to say he had found a knife, was sharpening it and would cut him with it, a court has heard.
Fellow countryman Gediminas Stauskas (28) is accused of murdering Audrius Aukstoulis in a “showdown” after the victim had threatened Stauskas’s partner.
The murder took place last Wednesday, shortly after the victim left Dungannon Magistrates Court, where he had been remanded in relation to charges of assault and breaching a non-molestation order. Stauskas was remanded in custody at the same courthouse yesterday.
Both victim and accused — whose address was given in court simply as “Dungannon” — are alleged to have met by arrangement at Anne Street car park in the town, each armed with a knife.
The court was told that Stauskas is the partner of “the female who is in the middle of this”.
A detective said the woman had acted as translator for the victim when he was facing charges of “a very serious sexual assault and kidnap”. These charges were later withdrawn, but it was revealed in court that Aukstoulis had threatened “to do something similar” to the translator.
The detective also confirmed the victim had sent Stauskas a text in which he said he claimed to be sharpening a knife with which he would cut the accused.
Defence solicitor Gareth Dillon said Stauskas had claimed to be acting in self-defence.
Refusing bail, Judge Meehan said he had “concerns that a person, by arrangement, goes armed to take part in a showdown”.
Stauskas will appear again by videolink on February 16.
The case has been linked to charges against a serving PSNI officer, who appeared at Newry Magistrates Court on Monday.
Andrew Desmond Donaldson (34) is alleged to have accessed the police computer and obtained information on Aukstoulis on January 5 which he then passed to “a female friend”.
Donaldson stands charged with misconduct in public office and breaching the Data Protection Act. He was granted bail. His case was adjourned until February 8.