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Homeless man sentenced to life for killing another rough sleeper in ‘senseless act of violence’

The body was found after officers helped the murderer while he was drunk

Will Worley
Friday 08 July 2016 23:50 BST
Tadeus Sareiko was jailed for a minimum of 25 years
Tadeus Sareiko was jailed for a minimum of 25 years (Met Police)

A homeless Lithuanian man who beat a fellow rough sleeper to death in a “senseless act of violence” has been sentenced to life in prison.

Tadeus Sareiko, 45, was given a term of at least 25 years for the murder of Normunds Kazdins, 39, from Latvia.

Community support officers found Sareiko “in a drunken state” and helped him back to the garages in Jessop Close, Woolwich, south London, where he was sleeping. Inside, they found a body covered up. It appeared to have been “seriously beaten”, a police statement said, and attending paramedics confirmed the body was dead.

Sareiko and another man present at the scene were arrested on suspicion of murder. The second man was later eliminated from detectives' enquiries and released with no further action.

The victim was later identified as Mr Kazdins, who was also believed to be homeless. “A post-mortem examination gave his cause of death as blunt force trauma to his head and chest, and indicated he had been punched, kicked and stamped on,” the statement said.

It continued: “When interviewed by detectives, Sareiko admitted he knew the deceased as Sergi [Popov] and by a nickname of 'Millionaire'. He told officers that he had been drinking heavily in the week before Mr Kazdin's death was discovered, and found it difficult to remember days and events in that time.

“However, Sareiko did admit that when he was drunk he could become violent if provoked. He denied intending to kill Mr Kazdin, but admitted he did lose control. And when Sareiko was told a significant witness had reported him as saying 'I killed the man', he stated he could not recall or remember this.

“Sareiko was charged with murder on Friday, 1 January. He denied the charge but was convicted on Tuesday, 5 July following a two-week trial.”

Detective Chief Inspector Graeme Gwyn, who led the investigation, said: "Normunds died in a senseless act of violence and I hope his family take some comfort at this difficult time from this conviction. I also want to thank the local community, many of whom knew Normunds, for their help in securing this result."

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