Victim’s body set alight and wheeled across town after being beaten to death
- Credit: Archant
A drink-fuelled argument at a Wisbech house, ended with a man being beaten to death with a metal pole, garden chair and a child’s bike.
It all began over an argument that prosecutors called “not so much a love triangle as a love square” involving two men and two women.
The victim, Mindaugas Arlauskas, 28, was later found by a member of the public in an industrial estate in the early hours of the following day.
His body had been set alight and wheeled across town where it was found at 5am.
One of the attackers was today was cleared of murder, having earlier pleaded guilty to manslaughter; his accomplice had previously admitted to murder.
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Peterborough Crown Court heard that Tomas Lazdauskas, 24, had invited Mindaugas to his house in Milner Road, Wisbech, following an earlier dispute involving two other women.
Mindaugas arrived to find Lazdauskas had been drinking in the house with another man, Donatas Umbrasas, 27.
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The three men made their way to an upstairs bedroom, but it was not long before tempers began to flare and violence erupted.
Umbrasas swung for the victim, knocking him to the floor before repeatedly slapping and punching him in the face.
He then dragged Mindaugas outside to the garden, where he beat him to death with a metal pole, garden chair and other items he could find in the garden.
The two men then used Mindaugas’s bike to transport his body out of the house on to the street outside.
CCTV images captured the men as they pushed the body to a nearby industrial estate, where they tried to destroy evidence of the murder by setting the body alight.
A post mortem examination carried out by Dr Ben Swift at Peterborough City Hospital concluded the victim had died because of blunt force trauma to the head.
Lazdauskas, denied murder and stood trial at Peterborough Crown Court, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter today (November 2).
Umbrasas, also known as Donce, of Albany Road, Wisbech, admitted murder at a previous hearing.
Both men have been remanded and are due to be sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on December 18.
The background to the case, as explained by prosecutor Timothy Cray QC, was that all three men were Lithuanian and all known to each other.
In opening the case he explained that CCTV had caught some of the events of that fateful night. He also said that Lazsdauskas had taken photos of the victim lying the garden.
On some of the footage, he had told the court, laughter could be heard.
He said that Mr Arlauskas would have been dead by the time his body was set alight on Sandall Road.
Dr Swift found more than 20 separate injury sites on the victim’s body.
Mr Cray described the attack as “a stupid and unnecessary killing fuelled by drink and jealousy”.
Detective Inspector Emma Pitts, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “Because of the barbaric actions of Lazdauskas and Umbrasas, a young man has been struck down in the prime of his life.
“While it might not have been Lazdauskas’ intention to commit murder, he knowingly lured Mindaugas to his house, aware of the fact Umbrasas intended to hurt him.
“I hope this conviction brings some closure for Mr Arlauskas’s family.”
In a tribute, Mindaugas’s parents said: “We are devastated by the sudden loss of our beloved son. He was much loved by us and our family and will be deeply missed.”