GUILTY: Man who travelled to Lithuania after killing his fellow countryman is sentenced to life imprisonment
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A 29-year-old man who travelled to Lithuania after bludgeoning his fellow countryman to death with a table leg has today (Wednesday, July 24) been convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 19 years.
Juozas Meilunas, aged 51, was killed by Mindaugas Kaminskas at a flat in Woodlands Court, Kettering, sometime in October 2018, in what prosecutor Mary Loram QC described as “a complete outburst of violence”.
His body was discovered by police on December 26, 2018.
The jury of seven men and five women returned their unanimous verdict of Kaminskas’ guilt in less than a day after being sent out on Tuesday, July 23.
During the trial, the jury heard how Kaminskas had attacked Juozas with a table leg, beating him so badly that he suffered a number of broken ribs and died as a result of blows to the head.
Kaminskas then left Juozas’ body under duvets in the flat, telling friends shortly afterwards, who at the time believed he was joking, that he had “a dead body in his flat” and that he wanted to “keep it as a trophy”.
He then flew back to his home country of Lithuania where he was later caught on CCTV attempting to withdraw money from Juozas’ account.
But by this time the police had found Juozas, whose body was only discovered 12 weeks after his death because neighbours noticed a leak in the flat, and a murder investigation was launched.
Kaminskas was soon identified as the suspect and was later caught at the border, trying to get back into England.
Today he was convicted of Juozas’ murder and sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 19 years.
Detective Chief Inspector Joe Banfield from Northamptonshire Police’s Major Crime Team, said: “This is a very sad case. Juozas Meilunas lived an isolated existence, sleeping on the streets at times, with few friends to support him. One of those so-called friends murdered him in an explosion of violence.
“After his murder, his body remained where it was for up to 12 weeks before police officers discovered him.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public who supported us throughout this very complex and fast-paced investigation.
“Many of them came forward as a result of our media appeals, helping us put together a timeline of Juozas’ movements before his death.
“Undoubtedly, without their help, we would not have been able to identify Kaminskas as the suspect so quickly and the investigation would have been far more difficult to bring to court and secure a conviction.”
On sentencing, Her Honour Judge Adrienne Lucking, commented on Kaminskas’ “violent and unpredictable temper”, how he “continued to live in the flat while Juozas’ body lay decomposing” and that she was of the opinion that “you intended to kill him”.
DCI Banfield, added: “Juozas deserved justice and I am pleased that today, we have managed to get that for him.
“His killer, Mindaugas Kaminskas, is rightly facing a lengthy prison sentence with a minimum term of 19 years and I hope he spends that time reflecting on how the consequences of his violent actions have resulted in an innocent man losing his life.”