Killers get life sentences for murder

PUBLISHED: 14:33 05 September 2006 | UPDATED: 19:47 01 June 2010

Ruslanas Ignatenka

Ruslanas Ignatenka

TWO Lithuanians were this week starting life sentences for stabbing to death a 20-year-old fellow countryman in a revenge attack. Alvydas Galubickas, known as Drakonas, who was living at Well End Mews, Friday Bridge, was stabbed repeatedly as he lay on th

TWO Lithuanians were this week starting life sentences for stabbing to death a 20-year-old fellow countryman in a revenge attack.

Alvydas Galubickas, known as Drakonas, who was living at Well End Mews, Friday Bridge, was stabbed repeatedly as he lay on the sofa in the attack.

The attack was said to be so ferocious that the blade broke off one of the knives during the attack.

Although an ambulance was quickly at the scene, Mr Galubickas later died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn, in November last year.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had stab wounds to the upper chest and leg and bled to death as a result of his injuries.

Gintautas Leinartas, 28, and Ruslanas Ignatenka 26, both denied murdering Mr Galubickas, but on Monday they were convicted by a Norwich Crown Court jury at the end of a lengthy trial.

A third man, Delvidas Balnius, 24, was cleared of being involved in the murder.

Judge Peter Jacobs jailed the two for life and recommended that they both serve a minimum term of 15 years before being considered for release.

The judge told them that they had been convicted on "very clear evidence".

He said they had attacked Mr Galubickas because he not apologised for hitting their friend during an argument at a party for Lithuanian workers the previous day.

"It is clear to me there was a plan to inflict some violence on him," he said.

"It was a joint attack by the two of you, each one assisting the other."

He said the victim was helpless and tried to defend himself with his arms and legs.

The judge read an impact statement from the victim's grandmother, Irena Jociene, who had brought up Mr Galubickas as her son and stated that his death had devastated the family.

The judge added that the grandmother had thanked the police for the way they had investigated her grandson's death.

Alistair Malcolm, for Leinartas, said it was not his intention to kill Mr Galubickas. He told the court: "There was no pre-meditation or planning."

He said it had been out of character for Leinartas to act in this way.

"As a result of what happened and the tragic death of Mr Galubickas he knows he is going to spend a lengthy time in prison," said Mr Malcolm.

Jeremy Benson, for Ignatenka, said: "Prison will be harder for these men as they don't speak English. They are away from their family and are not likely to receive many visitors.

* The Det Chief Insp who led a murder investigation into the death of a Lithuanian man welcomed the life sentence handed out to the two attackers.

Two Lithuanians were given life sentences for stabbing to death a 20-year-old fellow countryman in a revenge attack.

Alvydas Galubickas, known as Drakonas, who was living at Well End Mews, Friday Bridge near Wisbech was stabbed repeatedly has he lay on a sofa on November 27 last year.

The attack was said to be so ferocious that the blade broke off one of the knives during the incident.

Speaking after the case Det Chief Insp Jason Gordon, of Cambridgeshire police major Investigation team, told the Wisbech Standard "We are happy with the verdict and our thoughts are with Alvydas’s family back in Lithuania."

He said it had been a "difficult investigation" due to the language barrier, which had meant that each step of the inquiry had taken three times as long in comparison to other cases.

But he praised the swift action of the major investigation team who had managed to track down the three main suspects in just a day.

He said: "The major investigation team was quickly scrambled and they are a team of dedicated and experienced detectives who are extremely hard-working. All three suspects were arrested within 24 hours and this was vital as we learned later that all three were planning to flee the country."

He said the amount of resources used during the investigation was phenomenal and heaped praise on all those involved in the case not just the detectives, but police officers and staff.

Gintautas Leinartas, 28, and Ruslanas Ignatenka, 26 both denied murdering Mr Galubickas, but on Monday they were convicted at Norwich Crown Court.

A third man Delvidas Balnius, 24, was cleared of being involved in the murder.

Judge Peter Jacobs jailed the two for life and recommended that they both serve a minimum term of 15 years before being considered for release.

Det Chief Supt David Hankins added: "While we accept the jury's decision to find one of the defendants not guilty, we are fully satisfied that we presented a full and comprehensive case to the court.

"Alvydas Galubickas's death followed a tragic and sad sequence of events

which began with a very minor incident.

"Our thoughts are very much with his family. We are in direct contact with them and have informed them of the verdict. They have lost a loved one and, while nothing will ever bring him back, they are happy that justice has been done."

He added: "This has been a complex investigation, involving foreign nationals and inquiries in Lithuania, and a relatively long trial, which started at the end of July."

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