MURDER SENTENCE: Minimum of 17 years for Lithuanian who killed flatmate in freezing Wisbech park

A LITHUANIAN who strangled and beat his room-mate, leaving him to die in a freezing Wisbech park has today been jailed for life.

Tomas Krasnovas, 22, was told he would serve a minimum of 17 years at Cambridge Crown Court after being found guilty of murder by a jury on Tuesday.

Krasnovas attacked Erikas Ulinskas, 36, as they walked through Holmes Park in Wisbech on the evening of Saturday, November 27, last year.

It was the culmination of a row over money that had broken out earlier in the day at the house they shared with other Lithuanian nationals in Cocketts Drive.

Krasnovas attacked Erikas, strangled him and knocked him to the ground before kicking, stamping and jumping on his head.

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Krasnovas and another housemate, Romualdas Celiesius, 27, who witnessed the attack, continued to the 5 Star Premier shop in Norwich Road where they bought alcohol and returned home.

The victim's body was found by two men walking in the area at just after 9pm.

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A post mortem examination carried out by Dr Nat Cary concluded the victim had suffered two fractured ribs and had extensive bruising to the left side of his face and head, as well as various further injuries to his head.

The examination suggested death could have been caused by a restricted airway, head injury and potentially in conjunction with hypothermia.

The victim had no identification on him but police investigations revealed his identity and he was discovered to live at the house in Cocketts Drive with eight other Lithuanian nationals.

Erikas shared a room at the property with Krasnovas and Celiesius.

Krasnovas and Mr Celiesius were arrested on suspicion of murder on December 3. The former answered 'no comment' to questions and was charged with murder.

However, Celiesius described how he, Krasnovas and the victim had been drinking on the day of the murder and had been going to get more alcohol when the attack took place. Celiesius was later released with no further action taken. Krasnovas pleaded not guilty to murder. Following a three week trial, Krasnovas was found guilty at Cambridge Crown Court.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim McCrorie, who led the inquiry, said: 'Krasnovas had been drinking with the victim, his roommate, and an argument had broken out.

'However, the violence he used to settle the matter was truly horrific. It was a sustained attack which, according to a witness, he later claimed would have been too much for anyone to survive.

'I hope this conviction allows Erikas's family and friends to begin to come to terms with their grief, knowing that justice has been done.'

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