Lithuanian jailed for life over murder of fellow countryman

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A LITHUANIAN man has been jailed for life for murdering a fellow countryman in Wakefield after they had been drinking together.

Tomas Riauka, 34, stabbed Linas Kuedaras, 29, after losing his temper with him early one morning.

Leeds Crown Court heard yesterday the pair had consumed alcohol for several hours and were sitting talking in Raiuka’s flat in Marsland Avenue, after his girlfriend Asta Pukstyte went to bed. She was later woken by a noise and saw Mr Kuedaras kneeling over her boyfriend punching him.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said the prosecution accepted that was an unprovoked attack in which he was struck several blows, suffered bruising to his arms and received a threat of a sexual nature but Miss Pukstyte intervened and Mr Kuedaras left the room.

“You then made a deliberate decision to confront him. There was a struggle in the hallway of the flat, you armed yourself with a knife which you picked up from the kitchen. You had no doubt, become angry and lost your temper.”

After stabbing him twice in the flat he followed him to the hallway and in a further struggle was heard to say “I’m gonna show you” before stabbing him again.

One wound penetrated his heart causing his death. Judge Marson said he accepted Riauka did not intend to kill but that was the risk when a knife was used.

“He had his whole life in front of him, you took that away from him,” he said.

Riauku admitted murder on May 18 and was ordered to serve a minimum of 10 years minus the days spent on remand.

Simon Waley, prosecuting, said Riauka ran to a nearby ambulance station for help but when paramedics arrived they found Mr Kuedarus had no pulse.

Simon Bickler QC, for Riauka, said he wanted to express remorse to the victim’s family.

After the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Jon Morgan praised the family of Linas Kuedaras for their courage in coping with this tragedy.

“I hope the conviction of Riauka today may in time bring them some comfort in coming to terms with their loss,” he said.