Gainsborough murder trial: Ivans Zdanovics killed by smoke after fire at rented home

Ivans Zdanovics
Ivans Zdanovics
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A Gainsborough man was found dead in his bedroom after the remains of a fire were discovered at his rented home, a court was told.

A murder trial jury at Lincoln Crown Court heard 24-year-old Ivans Zdanovics was killed by smoke and discovered in an upstairs bedroom at his house in Etherington Street.

Martynas Kupstys, 25, of Aegir Close, Gainsborough, and Andrus Giedraitis, 29, of Riseholme Road, Gainsborough, each deny murdering Mr Zdanovics following the discovery of his body on the morning of 17th January.

The court heard Mr Zdanovics had spent most of the evening before he was found dead drinking gin with other friends elsewhere in Gainsborough.

But prosecution barrister, Tim Spencer QC, told the jury Mr Zdanovics met up with Kupstys and Giedraitis very late in the evening after leaving his other friends.

It is alleged all three men were caught on CCTV as they visited a local Tesco store where they bought whiskey and coke at around 11.38pm.

Mr Spencer said Mr Zdanovics appeared to be already suffering from the effects of alcohol and told the jury: “We say drink is a feature in this case.”

The jury heard Mr Zdanovics was found dead by a friend who had arranged to meet him the following morning.

Mr Spencer added: “The body of Mr Zdanovics was discovered in the main upstairs bedroom of the house he rented in Gainsborough, 29 Etherington Street.”

“That discovery was made on the morning of 17th January this year.”

“He was discovered by a friend who had arranged to meet up with him that morning to go to the dentists.”

“When he discovered his friend was dead he alerted the neighbourhood.”

“A 999 call was made to the emergency services.”

Police and ambulance staff arrived at the house at around 11am.

Mr Spencer told the jury: “It was obvious and quickly confirmed that there was extensive fire and smoke damage to the ground floor of the house.”

“There was also significant smoke damage upstairs.”

“It was the smoke that killed Mr Zdanovics who was in the main upstairs bedroom.”

The jury heard by the time emergency services arrived the fire had already burnt itself out due to a lack of oxygen.

Kupstys, 25, of Aegir Close, Gainsborough, and Andrus, 29, of Riseholme Road, Gainsborough, each deny murdering Mr Zdanovics between 15th and 18th January.

Sandra Kupstiene, 28, also of Aegir Close, Gainsborough, is also on trial alongside the the two male defendants charged with perverting the course of justice.

Mr Spencer added: “The three defendants are all related. Mr Giedraitis and Mrs Kupstiene are brother and sister. Mrs Kupstiene is married to Mr Kupstys.”

The trial continues. It is expected to last four weeks.