Rapist gets life term for murdering neighbour

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A convicted rapist who killed a neighbour and tried to blame “two black men” was jailed for life yesterday.

Irish-born James Citro, 54, was found guilty in October of murdering 44-year-old hotel worker Nijole Siskeviciene 13 years ago.

Citro, who changed his name from Kennedy, had been convicted of two rapes involving attempted strangulation in Ireland 33 years ago.

When police stopped him for drink-driving in July last year, his DNA was taken and matched to the October 1998 murder.

Citro, 54, of Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, admitted two offences of perverting justice by writing two anonymous letters to police after the murder. He was jailed for life at the Old Bailey and given a minimum term of 20 years.

Judge David Paget told him: “This case is the third time you have admitted to strangling your victim in a sexual context.

“By lying you have escaped justice for 13 years. I have no doubt you are a very dangerous man.”

Citro, who is now in a wheelchair, was wheeled out of the dock to the cells by a prison officer.

Philip Bennetts QC, prosecuting, told the trial that Miss Siskeviciene was strangled with a ligature and her body propped up in a sitting position outside garages at the back of her home in Wembley, north London.

During house-to-house inquiries, Citro, who had been living nearby, told police he did not know her.

A week later, two letters were sent to police. One said “two dark men” were seen with the body. The other claimed to be from an elderly person and said: “A girl was carried out from a house by two black men.”

Detectives regarded the letters as “credible and genuine” evidence. Appeals were made for the “vital witnesses” to come forwarded.

Citro, originally from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was convicted of two rapes in the same area of Ireland in 1978 in which the victims were held or throttled around the neck. He was jailed for 10 years.

Detectives believe Citro attacked other women and are appealing for any victims of assaults to come forward.

Citro changed his name by deed poll in 2003. He is believed to have worked as a barman in the Hayes, Ealing, Hampstead and Essex areas before moving to Weston-super-Mare in 2002.