Northern Ireland

Gediminas Stauskas jailed over 'car park duel' manslaughter

A man has been jailed for five and a half years for the manslaughter of another man in Dungannon.

Gediminas Stauskas, of Drumgrannon Road, admitted killing fellow Lithuanian Audrius Aukstuolis.

A prosecutor said the men had arranged to meet in a car park. Both were armed.

The judge said on one level, it was a "slightly bizarre and old-fashioned duel", but on another, "in a public place, two grown men, both armed with weapons, were fighting each other".

Stauskas was armed with a knife, while Aukstuolis had a screwdriver, although he had asked a workmate if he had a hammer, the court heard.

'Bully'

The prosecution lawyer said: "Only one blow was struck, by Stauskas with the knife - the stabbing blow of the knife which pierced Aukstuolis' heart, and killed him."

He added that while Stauskas claimed he had partially acted in self-defence, by his plea he accepted the "use of a knife amounted to excessive force".

A previous hearing was told Aukstuolis, who was a body-builder, had been in the local magistrates' court just before he was stabbed.

A defence barrister described the dead man as "a bully" and "a man of violence".

He said Aukstuolis had been pursuing Stauskas' girlfriend, and wanted him out of the way, making "threats to kill... which he took seriously".

In his sentencing, the judge said Aukstuolis continued to pursue the woman despite being rebuffed, and the two men began sending each other abusive and threatening text messages.

In the end Aukstuolis "essentially challenged the defendant to a fight with a suggestion that knives be used", said the judge.

He later added: "Clearly the defendant answered that challenge that had been laid down."

Stauskas will serve half of his sentence in jail, and the rest on licence.