Two men who kicked and punched a man to death in a Cliftonville flat have been jailed.
After a trial at Canterbury Crown Court, on Thursday, October 25 Aurimas Vilius, 25, was found guilty of murder and Klaudijus Klimanskis, 41, was found guilty of assault occasioning grievous bodily harm with intent following the death of 38-year-old Edvardas Barscevicius.
Today (October 26) Vilius was sentenced to life imprisonment and must serve at least 19 years in prison and Klimanskis was sentenced to a custodial sentence of seven years and 10 months.
On Monday, July 3 police were called to a block of flats in Ethelbert Terrace, Cliftonville after Mr Barscevicius’s body was found by a concerned neighbour who had not seen him for a while. She went into his flat and found him dead on a sofa. He had severe head and facial injuries.
Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate began an investigation and identified that Vilius from Ethelbert Terrace, and Klimanskis from nearby Athelstan Road, had both been involved in a fight with the victim two days earlier.
Vilius and Klimanskis were seen to launch an unprovoked attack on the victim and continued to kick and punch him while he lay unconscious on the floor. A friend of the victim, a man in his 30s, attended the flat to check on the dead man’s welfare and was also subjected to a vicious unprovoked attack. Vilius also assaulted Mr Barscevicius again later the same night.
Vilius was arrested by police the following day.
On the kitchen wall at the scene of the attack Vilius’ bloody handprint was found and witnesses also said they saw him with blood-stained hands on the day of the killing. When Vilius was arrested by officers he was wearing the victim’s trainers.
Klimanskis was arrested by police on July 6 and was found to have a severely injured right hand consistent with a fight. Witnesses also put him at the scene of the attack and he was also seen to kick the victim in the head. When officers searched his home address they found clothing stained with the victim’s blood.
Both denied the offences but a jury found Vilius guilty of murder and Klimanskis guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent.
Vilius was also found guilty of assaulting Mr Barscevicius’ friend, a charge which Klimanskis had already admitted.
Detective Sergeant Ross Gurden said: “Neither Aurimas Vilius or Klaudijus Klimanskis would take responsibility for what they had done to Edvardas Barscevicius and hoped they would get away with it.
“Thankfully the jury saw through their lies and have convicted both these men of this unprovoked brutal and sustained attack. It was a mindless act, brought about by too much alcohol which has led to the death of a man and left a family devastated.
“I would like to pay tribute to the many witnesses from the local community that came forward and provided vital evidence that proved the two men carried out this vicious attack.”