Four men deny Great Yarmouth murder

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd. Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
6:01 PM

Four men have gone on trial at Norwich Crown Court after denying the murder of a Lithuanian man, in Great Yarmouth, whose body was found with head injuries in a stairwell in a block of flats.

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A man was beaten to death at a Great Yarmouth flat over an argument about his tattoo, a court heard.

The body of Paulius Jakovlevas, 38, was found at the bottom of communal stairs at the 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 by cleaning up the flat to try to remove blood stains from the flat.

Benjamin Aina, prosecuting, said that Mr Jakovlevas had been severely beaten and the cause of death was severe head injury.

Mr Aina said the prosecution case is that he was beaten by all the four men, who are all Lithuanian, acting together.

He said the men had all been drinking, and told the jury there was CCTV footage of them going out to buy alcohol.

He said: ”The motive for the killing is unknown. However it would appear that there was an argument over a tattoo Paulius had.”

He said the tattoo had links to a town in Lithuania with connections to the Mafia.

Mr Aina claims the defendants moved the body of Paulius, who was a father of two, from the flat where he was killed to the bottom of the stairs and said neighbours had described hearing “dragging noises” and hearing a thump like a “sack of potatoes.”

He said it was not clear the time of death but Paulius was last seen on Friday, November 8, by his estranged wife.

He said three of the defendants admitted presence at the scene, but Janulevicius has denied he was present when the beating occurred.

He said however there was a woman witness who came to the flat while the beating was going on, who claims to have seen all four men at the address and seeing Mr Jakovlevas with blood on his face lying on the floor.

Mr Aina said she was “shocked and alarmed” by what she saw.

The trial continues.

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