Cambridgeshire

Peterborough murder trial: Man who hid in shed after killing wife guilty

Ligita Kostiajeviene Image copyright Cambridgeshire Police
Image caption Ligita Kostiajeviene was described in court as the family's "breadwinner"

A man who hid in a shed after killing his wife using knives, hammers and a screwdriver has been found guilty of her "brutal and frenzied" murder.

Andriejus Kostiajevas, 47, broke the skull of Ligita Kostiajeviene, 42, and stabbed her multiple times at their Peterborough home on 2 July.

He claimed he "went dark" after taking strong medication and black tea.

Kostiajevas was also found guilty of the attempted murder of a child and assaulting an emergency worker.

Cambridge Crown Court heard Kostiajevas had regularly been violent towards his wife of 20 years and she had spoken about leaving him "but never actually found the courage to do it".

Prosecutor Stuart Trimmer QC told the court the former postman, who had not been working at the time, had previously threatened to split his wife's skull.

Their daughter planned to call police that evening as she "had enough of what was happening", the court heard.

Image copyright Cambs Police
Image caption Andriejus Kostiajevas murdered his wife in a "brutal and frenzied" attack, police said
Image copyright Terry-Harris.com
Image caption Emergency services vehicles in Cromwell Road, Peterborough

The court heard on that morning a woman went to the house on Cromwell Road and opened the door to the couple's bedroom to find Kostiajevas "standing over Ligita with a knife".

The woman was then herself stabbed in the back before she was chased down the stairs, Mr Trimmer said.

As events progressed upstairs, Ms Kostiajeviene and a child in the house at the time had moved into another bedroom, but both were later attacked by Kostiajevas.

The child heard the defendant saying during the attack: "I'm never going to calm down, I'm going to stab."

Image copyright Terry-Harris.com
Image caption Andriejus Kostiajevas denied murdering Ms Kostiajeviene, attempted murder of the child, wounding with intent, unlawful wounding and assault on an emergency worker

The court heard emergency services found Ms Kostiajeviene "slumped in the corner of the room between the bed and the wall partially covered with bedding" with a knife still in her neck.

After the attack, Kostiajevas removed his wedding ring and was found by police in a ledge in a shed before a "long period of negotiation ensued to get him down from where he was", Mr Trimmer said.

Giving evidence in his trial, Kostiajevas said he was unable to remember many events of that day.

Cambridgeshire Police said witnesses had described Kostiajevas as "acting strangely" and said he had drunk "at least three bottles of chilli oil" on the day of the murder.

Speaking after the verdict, Supt Michael Branston said: "This was a brutal, frenzied and sustained attack resulting in the death of an innocent woman and significant trauma to a young child."

Kostiajevas was found not guilty of two other charges, wounding with intent and unlawful wounding, against another woman.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday.

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