'Crucial piece of evidence' mentioned in court as Scunthorpe man denies murder and false imprisonment
The girlfriend of a man found dead in dense woodland near Humberside Airport has been accused of “lying” and “making it up” as she went along, a court heard.
She claimed she had been threatened, strangled and kept prisoner in a car by the man accused of killing her boyfriend, the court was told.
Lithuanian man Aleksandras Aleksiunas, 26, of Burke Street, Scunthorpe, denies murdering chicken factory worker Arvydas Skrinkas at Cottager’s Dale Wood, Limber, near Kirmington, between December 24 and January 10.
He and Lithuanian co-defendant Arundas Gervelis, 24, of Dale Street, Scunthorpe, deny falsely imprisoning Mr Skrinkas and his girlfriend, Agne Jozenaite, on December 24 and falsely imprisoning Miss Jozenaite on December 25.
The prosecution at Hull Crown Court claims Aleksiunas stabbed Mr Skrinkas, causing a 12cm-deep shoulder wound and other wounds, and strangled him with a ligature after driving him to the remote wooded area.
He is said to have hidden his own blood-splattered jacket, a door key to his mother’s home and the victim’s sandals, also under piles of leaves.
Aleksiunas is said to have been furious that a satellite navigation system had gone missing from a car and blamed Lithuanian Mr Skrinkas, 25, of Sheffield Street, Scunthorpe, and his girlfriend, Miss Jozenaite, 23, for the theft.
Defence barrister Nicholas Lumley QC asked Lithuanian-born Miss Jozenaite why she had not told the police about her claim that she saw the hands of Aleksiunas “covered in blood”.
He said: “This must have been shocking for you. You did not mention once to the police that you had seen blood on the hands of Aleksiunas.”
Miss Jozenaite replied: “I do not remember whether I told them or not.”
Mr Lumley said the prosecution conceded that, during the hours that she was interviewed by police on several occasions, Miss Jozenaite did not mention anything about the defendant’s hands being covered in blood and that she did not mention it in her statements.
Mr Lumley asked her: “Why did you not tell the policeman this crucial piece of evidence?”
He added that, when Miss Jozenaite later returned to this country six or seven months later to give another statement, “again there was no mention of this blood”.
Mr Lumley said: “Yet again, you did not tell the police about this crucial piece of evidence.”
He claimed: “You are lying about this to make matters worse for Mr Aleksiunas.”
Miss Jozenaite replied: “I am not lying. It was not translated properly because there was blood.”
Mr Lumley said Miss Jozenaite had also not mentioned to police her claim that her boyfriend had been offered a last cigarette by Aleksiunas before he died and that she had allegedly been assaulted, strangled and pushed over a fence by him.
He asked her: “Are you making this up as you go along?”
She replied: “I’m telling the truth. That’s what happened.”
Mr Lumley asked whether she and fellow Lithuanian Tomas Savulionis were “covering up for somebody else” and “protecting somebody”.
Miss Jozenaite replied: “We were not trying to do that.”
The case continues.