Felixstowe: Three jailed for a total of 32 years after gang rape of 16-year-old

THREE Felixstowe dock workers were today sentenced to a total of 32 years in jail for their involvement in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl.

Yesterday Arturas Bagdziunas, 29, formerly of Leeward Court, Felixstowe, Minddaugas Mickevicius, 32, formerly of Holland Road, Felixstowe, and Alvaras Urbonas, 25, formerly of Sea Road, Felixstowe were found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court of joint enterprise oral and vaginal rape by 10-2 majority verdicts.

They had each denied three offences of rape.

Bagdziunas was also found guilty of anal rape and Mickevicius and Urbonas were cleared of joint enterprise anal rape.

The three Lithuanians attacked the teenager at a house in Holland Road, Felixstowe, in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2010.

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Today Judge Rupert Overbury sentenced Bagdziunas to 12 years in prison and gave both Mickevicius and Urbonas jail terms of ten years each.

A fourth defendant, Edgaras Sliburis, 19, of Scotland, who had denied three offences of rape, was acquitted yesterday and the jury was discharged after failing to reach any verdicts on him.

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Not guilty verdicts were entered on the court record on the three rape charges in respect of Sliburis after prosecution counsel Robert Sadd said he would not be seeking a retrial of Sliburis and offered no further evidence against him.

The four defendants initially stood trial in August last year, but the jury was discharged and a retrial began last month.

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Cutler, who oversaw the case, said: “Any rape is a serious assault on the victim, but both the circumstances and the number of offenders in this case make this particularly traumatic, and the sentences handed out by the court reflect the callous and sickening behaviour of the defendants.

“Victims of rape show tremendous courage and strength in reporting these crimes and seeing cases through to court, and in this case the young victim has shown incredible bravery and strength of character.

“Offences of this nature are thankfully very rare in Suffolk, but I would take this opportunity to remind people of some simple personal safety measures; stick with friends on a night out, arrange transport home beforehand and don’t go off with someone you haven’t met before.”

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