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Man in court over Birmingham couple murder


A man appeared in court charged with the murder of a couple found dead at their home last week.

Lithuanian national Rimvydas Liorancas, 37, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court charged with the double murder.

The bodies of Avtar Kolar, 62, and his wife Carole, 58, were discovered at their house in Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, last Wednesday.

Mr and Mrs Kolar, who had been married for 40 years and had four children, were found at the Friary Road property by their policeman son Jason.

Today, West Midlands Police said the motive for the double murder was nothing to do with their son's job, the force's work with gangs, or gold theft.

Liorancas, of Booth Street, Winson Green, Birmingham, appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court today, wearing a black T-shirt and black tracksuit bottoms.

He spoke only to confirm his name and address, through an interpreter.

The case was sent to Birmingham Crown Court on January 23.

Among people in the public gallery were the couple's daughter Michelle Kirwan, 39, and son Avtar Kolar, 32, who gave an emotional press conference last week, saying their hearts had been "broken forever", as well as Jason Kolar, who found his parents' bodies.

Both brothers stared intently at Liorancas throughout the brief hearing.

Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Jupp, from West Midlands Police, told a press conference today that a lump hammer was recovered at the scene in Friary Road, which was the cause of the couple's injuries.

Post-mortem examinations have revealed that both died as a result of blunt-force trauma to the head.

"I can confirm that the motive of these murders was not due to the fact that Jason is a serving police officer," Mr Jupp said.

"I can also confirm that it was nothing to do with the work the force undertakes in relation to gangs.

"I can also confirm that the motive was not in relation to the theft of gold."

But police confirmed a number of items had been stolen from the family home, which have now been recovered.

"The investigation into Carole and Avtar's death has been complex and very fast-moving," Mr Jupp said.

"The devastating impact of such a senseless crime has been far-reaching and the comfort drawn by the family from words of friends, the community and further afield has been much appreciated by them.

"I would like to say thank you to those who have come forward and given us our information. It is the information given by local people to our officers that is vital and in this case we have received a number of very important phone calls.

"We are not looking for anyone else in connection with this murder but much work remains to be done to bring this investigation to court.

"The Kolar family have been updated at each stage of our inquiry and continue to be supported by specialist officers and staff. We hope that they will now be given some time and privacy to grieve their tragic loss."

Liorancas, who was arrested at a Birmingham address on Monday, was the third person to be arrested on suspicion of the double murder.

Two men, aged 41 and 24, who were previously arrested in connection with the murders have been released without charge, West Midlands Police said.