Gainsborough murder trial: Pair guilty of murdering Ivans Zdanovics both given life sentences

Pictured on the left is Andrus Giedraitis and on the right, Martynas Kupstys
Pictured on the left is Andrus Giedraitis and on the right, Martynas Kupstys

Two men convicted of the murder of a 24-year-old who died following a fire at a house in Gainsborough were jailed yesterday (Thursday 16th April) for life at Lincoln Crown Court.

Martynas Kupstys was ordered to serve a minimum of 25 years before he can be considered for parole. His brother-in-law Andrus Giedraitis was ordered to serve a minimum of 21 years.

Kupstys, 25, of Aegir Close, Gainsborough, and Giedraitis, 30, of Riseholme Road, Gainsborough, each denied the murder of Ivans Zanovics but were found guilty by a jury at the end of a five week trial.

Both men had earlier pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by making false statements about events of the evening in January last year.

Judge Michael Heath said that it was clear from the evidence that Kupstys started a series of fires at the terraced house in Etherington Street, Gainsborough, but Giedraitis was also present and encouraged him.

The judge told them: “This was a joint offence. You were in it together.”

Chief Superintendent Stuart Morrison, the Senior Investigating Officer in the case, said after the sentencing: “These two men have rightfully been given a lengthy prison sentence to reflect the seriousness of their offending.”

“The claim that there was no intention to kill Mr Zdanovicvs simply did not wash with investigating officers, as it did not wash with the jury, as evidenced in the returning of guilty verdicts.”

“Setting light to a house and walking away from it showed a complete disregard for Mr Zdanovics life, and for the safety of those in neighbouring houses.”

“Kupstys and Giedraitis knew exactly what they were doing and have showed absolutely no remorse.”

“I am pleased that two very dangerous men will be in prison for a long period of time, and I hope the conclusion of the court case helps Mr Zdanovics’ family to start to come to terms with his death.”