Wednesday, July 9, 2014
One of the four defendants accused of the murder of a Lithuanian man, in Great Yarmouth, whose body was found in a stairwell in a block of flats has told a jury he had no involvement in the death and has blamed one of his co-defendants for carrying out the assault.
One of the four defendants, accused of beating a man to death, in Great Yarmouth, denied any involvement and said he never even touched him.
The body of Paulius Jakovlevas, 38, was found at the bottom of communal stairs at a flat in Wellesley Road, in the early hours of November 11, last year.
The jury at Norwich Crown Court, heard that Mr Jakovlevas had been drinking with the four men when an argument started over his tattoo and after he was beaten to death, his body was dumped at the bottom of the stairs.
Kestutis Sliogeris, 40, of Cromwell Road, Peterborough, Saidas Janulevicius, 35, of no fixed address, Algirdas Pocius, 47, of Wellington Road, Great Yarmouth, and Mantas Staponka, 24, of no fixed address, have all denied murder.
Sliogeris has also denied a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Giving evidence, Sliogeris, told the jury that it was his co-defendant Staponka, who had assaulted Mr Jakovlevas, and he had kicked him and hit him with a chair leg during an attack.
Asked by his barrister Simon Spence QC if he was responsible for the death of Mr Jakovlevas either directly or indirectly, he replied: “Why should I be responsible if I have not even touched him.”
He denied he had attacked Mr Jakovlevas, but accepted that the incident had happened in his flat,
He also denied he had attempted to pervert the course of justice by cleaning blood stains at the scene.
He said that he had cleared up a few vodka bottles.
“I did not clear anything from the table. I cleared whatever was on the floor. I was not trying to hide anything.”
He said that he did not know he should not have touched anything.
Sliogeris said that when he had later met Staponka at Norwich bus station he had told him that the death of Mr Jakovlevas was his problem.
“I told him it’s your fault, it’s your problem”
He also told the jury that another co-defendant Janulevicius had not even been present at the flat when the assault happened.
Asked why he had not told police in interview, Sliogeris said: “I was totally afraid to even mention Mantas’ name because he said if I’m going to say it the same is going to happen to me.”
He said he had been in shock and said because he could not speak English he was unable to do anything to help Mr Jakovlevas.
“I don’t talk English. I am not able to call police or ambulance. I don’t even know the number.”
Cross-examined by Andrew Shaw, for Staponka, he denied he had decided to gang up on him.
He replied: “That is a lie.”
The trial continues