Two men guilty of murdering Lithuanian father in Great Yarmouth flat

Crime scene investigators remain on scene at a house in Wellesley Road in Great Yarmouth where a mans body was discovered.

Picture: James Bass

Crime scene investigators remain on scene at a house in Wellesley Road in Great Yarmouth where a mans body was discovered. Picture: James Bass

Thursday, July 24, 2014
7:40 PM

Two men have today been found guilty of the murder of 38 year old father of two in Great Yarmouth.

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A map showing where the defendants bought alcohol from before heading back to the flat in Wellesley Road, where the victim was killed.A map showing where the defendants bought alcohol from before heading back to the flat in Wellesley Road, where the victim was killed.

Neighbours discovered Paulius Jakovlevas’ body on the morning of November 11 last year in the communal stairwell of a group of flats at 46 Wellesley Road. It is believed he had been there for three days.

Post mortem examinations later revealed the Lithuanian, who had moved to Yarmoutn in 2011, died from severe head injuries.

After a five week trial at Norwich Crown Court, 40-year-old Kestutis Sliogeris, of Cromwell Road, Peterborough, and Mantas Staponka, 24-years-old, and of no fixed address, were convicted.

Forensic evidence and witness testimony proved they had been involved in the attack on Paulius, a father of two. A search of the bins outside also resulted in carrier bags of blood stained items and a letter belonging to Sliogeris being found.

Paulius Jakovlevas: SubmittedPaulius Jakovlevas: Submitted

Attempts had been made to clean up the flat and the body of Paulius had been dumped on the stairs. It is believed he had been dead for up to three days at this point. Staponka fled to Lithuania and was extradited back to the United Kingdom to face the charges.

Two other men, Saidas Janulevicius, 35, and of no fixed abode, and Algirdas Pocius, a 47-year-old from Wellington Road, Yarmouth, charged in relation to the murder, were found not guilty by the jury.

Speaking after the court case yesterday, temporary detective chief inspector Andy Guy, from the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, who lead the enquiry, said: “This was a complicated investigation made more difficult by the need to locate, arrest and extradite two of the suspects from Lithuania.

“The convictions of the defendants are recognition of the brutal and senseless attack on Paulius which appears to be as a result of an alcohol fuelled argument over a tattoo. The fact that no effort was made by any of the defendants to give first aid or summon help as he lay dying on the floor for many hours, will be incredulous to most people.

Mantas StaponkaMantas Staponka

“This incident highlights the damage that the abuse of alcohol causes at the worst possible level.”

Paulius moved from Lithuania to Yarmouth in 2011. He had worked in a local factory and, according to police, was known to socialise with other members of his community.

During the course of the trial, court heard that Paulius had agreed to meet the defendants in one of the flats in Wellesby Road on November 8.

The men had been drinking and eating for several hours when a fight broke out. It was suggested during the trial the rwo was over a tattoo Paulius had, which, it was claimed, had links to a town in Lithuania with connections to the Mafia.

Kestutis SliogerisKestutis Sliogeris

The defendents had admitted being in the flat, but denied being involved in the murder.

A six hour forensic post mortem showed cause of death to be blunt force trauma head injury. Paulius was the victim of an assault involving sustained stamping, kicking and punching.

Sliogeris and Staponka are due be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court tomorrow, Friday.

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