Northampton

Kettering 'trophy' body murder: Mindaugas Kaminskas jailed

Mindaugas Kaminskas Image copyright Northamptonshire Police
Image caption Mindaugas Kaminskas made comments to former work colleagues about there being a dead body in his flat, but then laughed it off as a joke

A man who bludgeoned his flatmate to death with a table leg and joked of keeping his body as a "trophy" has been jailed for life.

Lithuanian national Juozas Meilunas, 51, was discovered dead at a property he shared with compatriot Mindaugas Kaminskas in Kettering on 26 December.

His fatal blunt force head injuries were inflicted about 12 weeks earlier.

Kaminskas, 29, who was unanimously found guilty of murder by a jury, will serve a minimum of 19 years.

Police were called to the property after flooding was reported but, during a search, a police officer discovered Mr Meilunas' body under a duvet in an advanced state of decomposition.

Prosecutor Mary Loram QC told Northampton Crown Court a wooden table leg found in the same room as the body had Mr Meilunas' blood, skin and hair on it.

The DNA of Kaminskas was found on the opposite end.

Image caption Police believe Mr Meilunas' body might have been at the property in Kettering for several months

Analysis by a forensic specialist suggested Mr Meilunas died on or around 1 October.

In evidence, jurors heard Kaminskas remained in Kettering for several weeks after the death, and made comments to former work colleagues about there being a dead body in his flat that he was keeping as a "trophy", which he laughed off as a joke.

Kaminskas then used a bank card belonging to the victim for several transactions in England, before fleeing to Lithuania in November, where he withdrew the remaining funds.

He was arrested in January when he attempted to re-enter the UK.

Defending, Isabella Forshall QC had said the poorly maintained Woodlands Court flat, which was used as a business address for several companies, was unsecure with several people using it.

But at the sentencing, Judge Adrienne Lucking said Kaminskas, of no fixed abode, had a "violent and unpredictable temper" and murdered Mr Meilunas "who was a vulnerable man".

Image copyright Northamptonshire Police
Image caption Police believe Juozas Meilunas had lived in Kettering for about a year

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