Father-of-five murdered due to 'drug deal dispute gone wrong'

Yanick Beresford, 25, and Aiste Paulauskaite, 21, stood trial at Peterborough Crown Court.

Yanick Beresford, 25, and Aiste Paulauskaite, 21, stood trial at Peterborough Crown Court and today (October 18), jurors delivered their verdicts. - Credit: Cambs Police

A drug dealer has been found guilty of savagely attacking and murdering a man in Huntingdon after he was short-changed when selling cocaine and cannabis to his daughter.

Yanick Beresford, 25, realised he had been paid just £10 for drugs worth £230 after he met with a woman in Sandwich Close, Huntingdon, on October 5, 2019.

The drug deal took place and the woman handed him the money before getting back into a car driven by her friend and returning home to Offord Cluny.

Later that same night the father of the woman who had underpaid Beresford, Robert Duquemin, heard a buzzer at his door in Percy Green Place, Huntingdon.

Robert Duquemin, 53, died at a house in Ringwood Close, Bury, Ramsey in October 2019.

Robert Duquemin, 53, died at a house in Ringwood Close, Bury, Ramsey in October 2019. - Credit: Cambs Police

He opened the door thinking it was his daughter but, shortly afterwards, a man with his face covered attacked him but didn’t say a word.

Mr Duquemin was punched to the head and body during the attack. The severity of the punches forced him against his neighbour’s doorframe and caused him to fall to the floor.

His daughter told officers that Beresford knew where her father, Mr Duquemin, lived and believed that Beresford attacked him as revenge for the drug deal gone wrong.

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The hunt for Beresford led officers to his girlfriend Aiste Paulauskaite’s home in Spring Close, Huntingdon.

A search of the house revealed more than £5,000 in cash, drugs and drug paraphernalia. A damp t-shirt and pair of gloves were also found in the washing machine.

Both were sent off for forensic testing and blood which had soaked onto the gloves was found to be Mr Duquemin’s.

Beresford was arrested shortly after midnight on October 7 but answered “no comment” to the majority questions asked by officers.

Paulauskaite was arrested and interviewed, where she admitted picking Beresford up on October 5 and driving him to and away from Mr Duquemin’s road, but denied knowing what he had done whilst there.

She also allowed police access to her old phone which had a SIM card belonging to Beresford in and revealed evidence of drug dealing.

A further phone seized from Beresford gave a bread trail of his movements on the day Mr Duquemin was attacked, including placing him at the man’s home and carrying out further drug deals afterwards.

Investigations also revealed that on October 6, the day after the drug deal and the attack, Beresford had used the phone to look up Mr Duquemin’s family on Facebook and also searched for defence solicitors and the phrase ‘Huntingdonshire police’.

Mr Duquemin, 53, died at a house in Ringwood Close, Bury, Ramsey, on October 10 as a result of the attack five days earlier.

A postmortem concluded he died of a ruptured spleen as a result of blunt force trauma.

Beresford was interviewed following Mr Duquemin’s death and answered “no comment” to all questions, apart from on one occasion.

When told about the gloves found in his girlfriend’s washing machine he visibly reacted, looked uncomfortable and said: “They weren’t washed”.

Beresford and Paulauskaite stood trial at Peterborough Crown Court from September 20, and on October 18 jurors delivered their verdicts.

Beresford was found guilty of murder and had previously pleaded guilty to supplying class A and B drugs.

Paulauskaite, 21, was found guilty of assisting an offender. She had previously admitted being concerned in the supply of class A and B drugs, and perverting the course of justice. Both will be sentenced at the same court on November 15.

Detective Chief Inspector Emma Pitts, of the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit, said: “Robert was a father of five and his family have been left devastated by his death.

“Beresford violently attacked him in his own home all for the sake of a drug deal gone wrong. Drugs cause misery to communities and are often the catalyst to more serious crimes; this case is a stark reminder of that fact.

“My thoughts and deepest sympathies remain with Robert’s loved ones, and I only hope that today’s verdict can provide them with some measure of closure as they learn to live with their loss.”

Suspect drug dealing where you live? Report it here: https://bit.ly/3n84Z28