Page last updated at 15:15 GMT, Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Dead woman 'lonely and had money'

Jolanta Bledaite
Jolanta Bledaite's head and hands were found on a beach in Angus.

The man accused of murdering Jolanta Bledaite spoke about "a lonely person" who would not be missed and had money in the bank, a court has heard.

Vitas Plytnykas, 41, denies killing Ms Bledaite, whose head was found on Arbroath beach in April last year.

A Polish witness has told the High Court in Edinburgh that Mr Plytnykas offered him a job transporting bags and putting them in water.

He said there was talk of splitting 10,000 in a bank account three ways.

Polish farm labourer Piotr Grzelacyzyk was a friend of Ms Bledaite, who was 35 and from Lithuania.

Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC, prosecuting, asked him: "Did you get the impression someone would be killed?"

Mr Grzelacyzyk replied: "I did not suspect. I might have some ideas."

Mr Grzelacyzyk, 36, said he did not take up the job Mr Plytnykas was offering.

He told the court: "I was only to provide the transport. It could have been stones in the bag. It could have been clothes. I don't know.

The police would have no proof. They would come and check but they would have no proof
Piotr Grzelacyzyk
"It was something that I shouldn't. I didn't want the job and I wasn't interested."

He told Mr Prentice that it might be transporting a suitcase, it might be anything.

"Might it be Jolanta?" asked Mr Prentice.

"Very likely," agreed Mr Grzelacyzyk.

The trial heard that he learned from television reports that a woman's head and hands had been washed up on a beach at Arbroath.

"The first thought I had was it was Jolanta because Aleks and her lived together and he might have known her bank details and Pin number," he told police who questioned him.

Aleksandras Skirda, 20, has already admitted murdering migrant worker Ms Bledaite in the flat they shared in Brechin and later disposing of her body parts.

Mr Plytnykas denies any part in the killing and claims he has an alibi.

The trial also heard that Mr Grzelacyzyk had told a friend he was afraid someone was going to be "cleaned" - an expression which could also mean "killed" in Polish.

Defence QC Paul McBride challenged Mr Grzelacyzyk's story. The lawyer said Mr Plytnykas spoke no English and only pidgin Polish so there were "almost insuperable difficulties with the language barrier".

Mr Grzelacyzyk said they had spoken in a mixture of Russian and Polish, which were similar languages.

Mr McBride also asked why - if he had fears for Ms Bledaite's safety - he had not alerted her or the police.

"I wasn't sure but I was just suspecting," replied Mr Grzelacyzyk. "The police would have no proof. They would come and check but they would have no proof."

Mr McBride suggested Mr Grzelacyzyk had no information that harm was going to come to Ms Bledaite: "That is why you didn't pick up the phone and tell her."

Mr Grzelacyzyk repeated: "I was only suspecting."

The trial continues.

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