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Two men jailed for life for murder of father-of-two in Great Yarmouth

PUBLISHED: 10:03 26 July 2014 | UPDATED: 10:12 27 July 2014

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

Archant Norfolk © 2013

Two men have been jailed for life for the murder of a 38-year-old father-of-two in Great Yarmouth in what a judge described as a “brutal and sustained” attack. The body of Paulius Jakovlevas’ body was found in the communal stairwell of flats in Wellesley Road on November 11, last year.

Mantas Staponka Mantas Staponka

Two men are starting life sentences for the murder of a 38-year-old father-of-two, who died from a severe head injuries following a “brutal and sustained” attack.

The body of factory worker Paulius Jakovlevas’ body was discovered in the communal stairwell of flats at Wellesley Road, and the court heard that rather than call for help, which might have saved his life, the badly injured victim was left to die and his body dumped.

After a five week trial at Norwich Crown Court, Kestutis Sliogeris, 40, of Cromwell Road, Peterborough, and Mantas Staponka, 25, of no fixed address, both appeared for sentence, after being convicted of murder.

The court heard the men had been drinking for hours in the flat when an argument started. It was suggested it was over a tattoo Mr Jakovlevas had, which had links to a town in Lithuania, with connections to the Mafia.

Kestutis Sliogeris Kestutis Sliogeris

Sentencing them both to life imprisonment, Judge Stephen Holt recommended that Sliogeris serve a minimum of 17 and half years and Staponka serve a minimum of 16 years before they are considered for release.

He said: “Exactly why this man was killed we will never know.”

He said that Mr Jakovlevas suffered numerous injuries in the assault but died from severe head injuries and said: “It was a sustained and brutal attack.”

He added: “It was savage because of the level of violence meted out to him, and cruel because after the attack you simply left him lying in his own blood. This man would have lived a few hours after this savage beating. A simple call to the emergency services may have saved his life. We will never know.”

Paulius Jakovlevas: Submitted Paulius Jakovlevas: Submitted

He accepted that Staponka had not been involved in disposing of the body but said that Sliogeris had probably dumped the body by the stairs hoping it would look like an accident. He said that Sliogeris had then been involved in a half-hearted attempt to clean up blood from the flat.

Judge Holt said they had used “feet as weapons” and said: “The ferocity of the attack means it could only be your intention to kill him. After you finished the attack, no attempt was made to get him medical aid.”

Simon Spence, for Sliogeris, said he suffered from as serious liver complaint and said any time in jail would be hard for him ,”It will be a difficult time for him in prison.”

He said that it had not been a “premeditated attack.”

Andrew Shaw for Staponka, said he was still a relatively young man and had a wife and young family back in Lithuania.

“They will be separated for a great deal of time. Any sentence in a foreign country is difficult.”

Two other men, Saidas Janulevicius, 35, of no fixed address, and Algirdas Pocius, 47, from Wellington Road, Yarmouth were both cleared of any involvement in the murder.

After the case Judge Holt commended Norfolk officers involved in the complex investigation for their work. The investigation by the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Major Investigation Team, was made more complicated by the need to locate, arrest and extradite two of the suspects from Lithuania.

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