Kettering murder trial: Body undiscovered for 12 weeks

The body of a man found dead in a Kettering flat was not discovered for 12 weeks, a court heard.

Tuesday, 9th July 2019, 4:45 pm
Mr Meilunas' body was found in the first floor flat on the left.

Mindaugas Kaminskas, 29, is on trial at Northampton Crown Court charged with the murder of fellow Lithuanian and flatmate Juozas Meilunas.

Mr Meilunas, 51, was found dead in a flat in Woodlands Court off Wood Street on Boxing Day after neighbours noticed it was flooded.

His body was under a duvet in a bed and in an advanced state of decomposition.

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Mr Meilunas' body was found in the first floor flat on the left.

Forensic pathologist Dr Frances Hollingbury said: "The injuries to the skull appeared to be inflicted injuries."

Dr Hollingbury was unable to confirm when Mr Meilunas died, but a forensic entomologist narrowed down the time period .

Studying maggots and eggs found on the body, as well as temperatures, they concluded that the time of death was late September or early October - a full 12 weeks before the body was found.

This morning (Tuesday) prosecutors described the painstaking investigation to try to establish exactly when Mr Meilunas was last seen.

Mr Meilunas worked through agencies and had been working at Arytza Bakeries in Kettering, but the court heard he had last logged in for a night shift from September 20 to 21.

His mobile phone had not been used since September 21, with messages unanswered, but he had been seen since then.

A student told police she had seen him on a bench outside Kettering's library in early October and he had been seen in Betfred in late September or early October.

The court also heard Mr Meilunas had been seen by a woman who knew him through the Lithuanian community with a 'swollen face' on September 27.

She saw him with a man she didn't know, whom she later identified as Kaminskas.

Prosecutor Mary Loram said that later that night the woman - whose flat overlooked the property the body was found in - saw movement and an apparent scuffle through the curtains.

She never saw Mr Meilunas again but did see Kaminskas.

Mrs Loram said: "She was so concerned she reported Juozas Meilunas as a missing person in November."

She was not the only person to see Mr Meilunas and Kaminskas, of no fixed abode, together.

They were seen at the Salvation Army Citadel in Rockingham Road, where Kaminskas gave his address as Flat 5 in Woodlands Court when applying for a food parcel.

They also went to Accommodation Concern together and asked to use the phone.

A member of staff said they called a bank to activate a bank card that Mr Meilunas had but gave up after a few attempts and left.

The prosecution's case is that Kaminskas killed Mr Meilunas with a table leg in an 'explosion of violence'.The jury of seven men and five women were shown the table leg this afternoon.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.