Gainsborough murder trial: The last person to see Ivans alive said he was alone at his home

Ivans Zdanovics
Ivans Zdanovics

One of the last people to see a Gainsborough man alive told police he left him alone in his home, a court was told.

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

Sandra Kupstiene, 28, who is the wife of Mr Kupstys, is also on trial alongside the two men and denies a charge of perverting the course of justice.

A murder trial jury at Lincoln Crown Court has been told Mr Zdanovics, 24, was killed by smoke and discovered in an upstairs bedroom at his house in Etherington Street. The remains of a burnt out fire were discovered downstairs.

The jury heard all three defendants were present at Mr Zdanovics’ home in Etherington Street during the early hours of 17th January.

Mr Giedraitis agreed to give police a statement after they visited him at his home in Riseholme Road. He attended Gainsborough police station voluntarily two days after the discovery of Mr Zdanovics’ body and gave an account of his movements.

During the statement Mr Giedraitis said he had been in Gainsborough for about three years after moving to the UK from Lithuania and had recently given up a factory job in Newark because the money was not good enough.

Mr Giedraitis told police he spent the evening of 16th January celebrating his partner’s birthday at home but left the property with Mr Kupstys at around 10.40pm. At 11pm they met a man known only to Mr Kupstys near the underpass on Sandsfield Lane.

“Martynas knew the man and called him Ivans,” Mr Giedraitis told police. “When we met Ivans he invited us to his house and have a drink there.”

Mr Giedraitis said all three men visited Tesco to buy a bottle of whiskey and then went back to Etherington Street. “In the house Martynas and Ivans mainly spoke in Russian,” he added.

“All three of us drank a bottle of whiskey. Ivans looked happy.”

Mr Giedraitis said Ms Kupstiene arrived at the property about 3am and had a row with her husband.

“Approximately ten minutes later we all left leaving Ivans in his house,” Mr Giedraitis told police.

The jury heard Police asked Mr Giedraitis if he noticed any burning candles before he left. “I can’t recall that I saw burning candles in the house,” he replied.

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

Sandra Kupstiene, 28, also of Aegir Close, Gainsborough, denies perverting the course of justice.

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