Felixstowe: Trio guilty of teenager’s gang rape

THREE dock workers are facing jail sentences after being found guilty of being involved in the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl.

After a trial lasting five weeks at Ipswich Crown Court the three Lithuanians were found guilty of being involved in a joint enterprise to rape the girl at a house in Holland Road, Felixstowe, in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2010. They are due to be sentenced today.

Before the court were 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, who each denied three offences of rape.

Bagdziunas, Mickevicius and Urbonas were all found guilty of joint enterprise oral and vaginal rape by 10-2 majority verdicts.

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

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

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The court heard the 16-year-old victim was attacked after being invited back to a house in Holland Road, Felixstowe, in the early hours of New Year’s Day last year.

She had been seeing-in the New Year with a friend on the seafront but had been left on her own after her friend went off with a boy.

Giving evidence the victim admitted she had been “jealous and annoyed” with her friend and had wanted some attention herself but denied wanting to have sex with the defendants.

She told the court that she had become uneasy while at the house in Holland Road after Bagdziunas ran his hand over her body and told her she was beautiful.

She asked to go to the toilet so she could phone for help but was then pushed into a bedroom and raped.

Part of the incident was recorded on a mobile phone and this footage was played to the jury during the trial.

Giving evidence the defendants claimed the girl had consented to what went on in the bedroom and had not struggled or been forced to do anything she didn’t want to do.

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