Gainsborough murder trial: Man accused of murder tells jury he was ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’

Ivans Zdanovics
Ivans Zdanovics

A man accused of murder has told a jury he is innocent saying he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Andrus Giedraitis, giving evidence at the start of the third week of his trial, told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court that he was not responsible for a series of fires which led to the death of Ivans Zdanovics at a terraced house in Etherington Street, Gainsborough.

He said his co-defendant Martynas Kupstys was the person who lit the fires.

Giedraitis was asked by his barrister Andrew Jefferies QC, “Did you start any fires in that house?”

Speaking through a Lithuanian interpreter Giedraitis replied “No”.

Mr Jefferies then asked him, “Did you know Martynas Kupstys had started any fires in that house?”

Giedraitis responded: “I know now. The first I knew was when we arrived the last time near his house. When we opened the door and I saw the smoke.”

He told the jury he did not encourage Kupstys to start the fires and he had nothing against Mr Zdanovics whom he said he did not know.

Giedraitis said: “I have just appeared at the wrong time at the wrong place. It’s just my life.”

He said that earlier in the evening he had been with his partner celebrating her birthday but after the party came to an end he went with Kupstys to buy more drink.

Giedraitis said his partner rang him to try to get him to return home but he stayed out and they subsequently went to Mr Zdanovics’ rented home in Etherington Street.

The jury has heard that the body of Mr Zdanovics was found in an upstairs bedroom by a friend who called to see him. He died from smoke inhalation.

A series of five fires were found in the downstairs of the property. The prosecution says that both Giedraitis and Kupstys played a part in causing the death of Mr Zdanovics.

Martynas Kupstys, 26, of Aegir Close, Gainsborough, and Andrus Giedraitis, 30, of Riseholme Road, Gainsborough, each deny the murder of Ivans Zdanovics between 15th and 18th January 2014.

The hearing continues.