Man accused of murdering Spalding factory worker wife will not give evidence

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A man accused of murdering his estranged wife this afternoon (Tuesday) elected not to give evidence to the jury at Lincoln Crown Court.

Gytis Griskevicius is alleged to have severely beaten Spalding factory worker Marina Erte, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury, and then dragged her naked body into the bathroom at her flat in Boston before drowning her.

Griskevicius denied he was responsible for the killing when he was interviewed by police following his arrest in May last year.

This afternoon, following the close of the prosecution case, the jury was told that Griskevicius will not be giving evidence.

His defence barrister Shaun Smith QC read a brief statement from Griskevicius’ solicitor Bill Miller relating to disclosure of evidence. He told the jury: “Save for a very short statement that I am going to read we are not going to call any further evidence in this case.”

Earlier today a forensic scientist told the jury that Marina’s blood was discovered in both the living room and bathroom of her upstairs flat in Elizabeth Road.

Dr Simpson, a blood pattern analyst who examined the scene of the death, said: “In my opinion the findings indicate that Marina Erte was assaulted in the living room.

“This has been in an area in front of the television where she has been bleeding.

“She has then been dragged into the bathroom where she has been further assaulted and she has been placed in the bath.”

Crime scene manager Matthew Mears, who examined the scene, said that he found no sign of forced entry to either the door or windows of Marina’s flat.

Griskevicius (32), of St Ann’s Lane, Boston, denies the murder of Marina Erte on May 20, 2016.

At the time of her death Marina Erte was working at the FESA fruit packing company in Spalding.

• The trial continues on Thursday.

WEDNESDAY: Accused ‘meant to murder’ estranged wife

A man accused of murdering his estranged wife had previously spoken about paying someone to get rid of her, a jury was told today (Wednesday).

Gytis Griskevicius was described by a witness as being so angry after Spalding factory worker Marina Erte left him that he wanted her out of the way.

Anita Zeleznova, a friend of Marina Erte, told the jury that the couple separated in the Spring of 2015.

She told the jury: “He was angry because he loved her very much.

“He said nothing good about Marina. He did not have a good impression of her new guy. He wasn’t very happy that she was seeing him.

“He was so angry that I think he wished for her not to exist any more.

“I think he wished death to her so that she didn’t disturb his living any more.

“He said he was willing to pay someone to get rid of her.

“As far as I understood he meant to murder her.”

Ms Zeleznova denied a defence suggestion that she was deliberately trying to make things bad for Griskevicius.

She told the jury: “I don’t have any motive to lie.”

Griskevicius (32), of St Ann’s Lane, Boston, denies the murder of 33 year-old Marina Erte on May 20, 2016.

The prosecution allege that he attacked her at her flat in Elizabeth Road, Boston, causing severe head injuries and then drowned her before setting fire to the property.

Ingreda Sabunina, a friend and former work colleague of Marina Erte, told the jury that Marina believed that Griskevicius was responsible for a number of incidents that occurred.

These included the theft of a bicycle, her cat disappearing and her car being super-glued.

Ms Sabunina, giving evidence via an interpreter, said that Marina told her that Griskevicius had asked if she would come back to him.

“She said ‘no’.

“She said he invited her to his birthday party. She said there was no point “

Irina Sura, another friend of Marina, told the jury that Marina expressed concern that Griskevicius was stalking her. Ms Sura said that Marina was worried after Griskevicius discovered her address when she moved into her flat in Elizabeth Road, Boston.

She told the jury: “She said she didn’t want to tell anyone her new address as she was afraid and didn’t trust anyone.

“She didn’t want Gytis to know where she lived.

“She was very worried that Gytis was stalking her and she was reporting this to the police.

“I said ‘you could buy surveillance cameras’.

“She was reluctant at first because it was quite expensive. She did buy cameras but she never installed them.”

The trial continues.

TUESDAY: Man denies murder of Spalding factory worker wife

A man murdered his estranged wife just hours after celebrating his birthday with friends, a jury at Lincoln Crown Court has been told.

Gytis Griskevicius is alleged to have visited his wife, Spalding factory worker Marina Erte (33) at her first floor flat in Boston and attacked her, leaving her with severe head injuries, before drowning her in the bath.

Griskevicius is then alleged to have set fire to the property in Elizabeth Road before walking out.

Later, following his arrest, the prosecution claim the defendant confessed to a cellmate while remanded in custody after being charged with murder

William Harbage QC told the jury: “Marina Erte’s body was found naked in the bath in her flat by firemen who had been called out by neighbours.

“Subsequent examination of her body revealed she had been severely beaten about the head, causing facial fractures and traumatic brain injury.

“She had then been placed in the bath and drowned by holding a shower attachment up against her face deliberately.

“There can be no doubt that whoever did this intended to kill her and did so. Whoever did it is undoubtedly guilty of murder.

“After Marina had been killed an attempt had been made by her killer to destroy her flat by setting fire to the carpet on the stairs.

“Although the fire burned slowly for quite a while and caused extensive smoke damage it didn’t catch on and destroy the whole flat. It merely smouldered and the scene was preserved, albeit covered in a layer of soot.”

The court was told that the couple married in 2010 but separated five years later.

Marina formed a relationship with another man – Aleksandr Kudriasov – and Mr Harbage told the jury: “There is evidence that the defendant was jealous of Marina’s relationship with her new boyfriend. There is even evidence that he was talking about revenge.”

Mr Harbage said that Griskevicius celebrated his birthday the day before the alleged murder with a barbecue with his housemates. That ended early as the others had to be up for work in the morning. Later Griskevicius visited Marina’s flat and the pair of them went to the Asda store where they bought a bottle of whisky and some crisps before returning to Elizabeth Road.

“We say he had a motive and as well as a motive we say the defendant had the opportunity,” said the prosecutor.

Mr Harbage said that following his arrest Griskevicius destroyed the shirt he was wearing and lied to police about his movements.

Griskevicius (32), of St Ann’s Lane, Boston, denies the murder of Marina Erte on May 20, 2016.

At the time of her death Marina Erte was working at the FESA fruit packing company in Spalding.