A LITHUANIAN man who knifed a friend to death after a drunken confrontation in Eastmoor has been jailed for life.
Tomas Riauka, 34, admitted murdering fellow countryman Linas Kuedaras, 29, at his flat in Marsland Street, Eastmoor.
Leeds Crown Court heard today (Friday) that the men and Riauka’s girlfriend had been drinking together before trouble broke out in Riauka’s flat during the early hours of May 18.
Judge Geoffrey Marson QC, passing sentence, said: “I accept that Mr Kuedaras knocked you to the floor in an unprovoked attack and struck you several blows.
“As a result of him kneeling on your arms you received bruising. He made a threat of a sexual nature and attempted to force your mouth open with his fingers. You believed him to be in possession of a knife.”
The court heard how Riauka’s girlfriend woke up and tried to intervene. She persuaded Mr Kuedaras to stop the assault and he left the room.
But Judge Marson added: “You (Riauka) then made a deliberate decision to confront him. There was a struggle in the hallway of the flat.
“You armed yourself with a knife which you had picked up from the kitchen.
“You had, no doubt, become angry and lost your temper. You stabbed your victim twice inside the flat. When he left you followed, still holding your knife.
There was a further struggle at the lobby front door, you were heard to say, ‘I’m gonna show you’ and you stabbed him again.”
The court heard remorseful Riauka ran to an ambulance station nearby to raise the alarm but paramedics found the victim dead from a wound to the heart.
Judge Marson accepted there was no premeditation and that Riauka had been provoked.
But he said: “Whatever had gone on before, you should not have followed him out of that flat and Linas Kuedaras didn’t deserve to die. He had his whole life in front of him; you took that away from him.”
Riauka must serve a minimum of ten years before he is considered for parole.
After the case the senior investigating officer, Det Chief Insp Jon Morgan, said: “Sadly this has been a case where two friends have fallen into an argument in which anger and excess alcohol consumption have fuelled the dispute until it resulted in Linas’s stabbing.”