Wisbech murder accused tells friend that victim was pregnant, court hears

A factory worker alleged to have stamped a neighbour to death and hid her body under a mattress told friends she was pregnant, a court has heard.

Tomas Acas is said to have made the revelation to colleague Ingrida Batakiene in a phonecall where they discussed the whereabouts of their co-worker Jolanta Dumciuviene, 38.

The 38-year-old Lithuanian was killed in her room in May at a shared house in Milner Road, Wisbech and not found by friends for three days, Cambridge Crown Court has heard.

Giving evidence at court, Ms Batakiene said Acas told her he visited Mrs Dumciuviene's home address to ask for a thermometer because he was ill.

The 26-year-old, who denies murder, said he could not find her but went on to say she was expecting a child, Ms Batakiene said.

The witness added: 'I didn't believe this but he assured me it was true.'

Earlier Ms Batakiene said she had received a 'strange' text message from the Wisbech murder victim on Thursday, May 6 last year which said: 'I will come back on Sunday.'

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She had last seen Mrs Dumciuviene alive on Monday, May 3 when they worked together at Wisbech's Del Monte canning factory.

They spoke over the phone again a day later, when Mrs Dumciuviene is said to have invited her colleague to a barbeque.

However, she did not show for work on Friday, May 7, which prompted Ms Batakiene to go round to her Milner Road address to see where she was.

'We walked round to the window and called 'Jolanta, Jolanta', but no one answered,' she said.

She later heard her friend and colleague, whose husband and children live in Lituania, was dead.

On Friday, jurors also saw CCTV footage of Acas - who lived next door to Mrs Dumciuviene's home - in Wisbech town centre on Tuesday, May 4.

Police say the defendant, who is also Lithuanian, tried to make a cash machine withdrawal at 7.51pm that day using Mrs Dumciuviene's bank card.

The court has already heard Mrs Dumciuviene – who moved to England in 2007 – died as a result of 'severe trauma to the chest' after suffering rib fractures, 'damage to her throat' and internal bleeding.

The cause of such injuries could have been 'someone stamping on her', jurors have been told.

Jurors have also been told that a witness had seen blood on the bottom of Acas's trousers and that his blood and a fingerprint were found in Mrs Dumciuviene's room.

The trial continues.