Greenway murder trial: Killer sentenced
PUBLISHED: 18:45 19 August 2015 | UPDATED: 18:45 19 August 2015
A man was sentenced to 16 years behind bars today after he was found guilty of the Greenway murder that claimed the life of Mantas Ziedavicius.
During the two and half week trial at the Old Bailey, jurors heard how Ukranian national Hennaidy Yelizarou, 22, fatally stabbed Mantas Ziedavicius with a broken bottle.
Mantas, a Lithuanian national, had lived in Frinton Road, East Ham, where he had met Yelizarou. The two men had been walking and drinking from a bottle of wine with a third man when an argument broke out on February 23.
In the ensuing fight, Yelizarou struck Mantas on the neck with a broken bottle leaving him fatally wounded on the Greenway footpath and cycle path near Lonsdale Avenue, East Ham.
Instead of calling an ambulance, Yelizarou chose to change his clothing and destroy potential evidence.
It wasn’t until around 1.30am the following morning that Mantas was found by a man walking to work along the Greenway, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as an incised wound to the neck.
In paying tribute to her son, Mr Ziedavicius’ mother, Vaiva Ziedaviciene, revealed her husband had been allegedly killed in a similar incident a decade earlier when he was hit with a bottle of champagne.
He sustained skull fractures in the attack but no-one was arrested.
She said: “After their father’s death, I bought up Mantas and his brother on my own. I did not give up, I did not stop trying. I kept bringing up the children on my own and I had a strong relationship with Mantas.
“Mantas worked in Norway and the Netherlands before travelling to England in September 2013. I used to chat with him on Skype. He used to tell me that my life was difficult and he wanted to help me by working.
“Now I cry and think about Mantas every day. He was kind and he showed respect to me. It feels like part of me died with him.”
Det Ch Insp Ken Hughes, who led the investigation, said: “Hennaidy Yelizarou admitted to slashing Mantas’s neck with the broken bottle, but claimed that he was acting in self defence.
“However, the level of violence used was wholly disproportionate to the threat posed to him by Mantas. I hope that today’s conviction brings a measure of comfort to Mantas’s family.”
A second defendant, Latvian national Pavels Rozkovs, 44, was found not guilty of murder.
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