A WOMAN and man have both been sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of murdering a man at his home in Eastwood.
Indre Barysaite (30) and housemate Dimitrijus Jakimovas (33) killed Barysaite’s then boyfriend Zygimantas Kromelys (26), with whom Barysaite was said to have had a "toxic and destructive relationship", at the home they all shared in Denman Street, Eastwood, on November 10, 2019.
The pair were sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court on December 31.
The court heard that on the night of the murder, police had been called to the property on Denman Street shortly after 9.30pm, after reports that Mr Kromelys, also known as "Zygi" was injured.
When officers arrived, they were greeted by a hysterical Barysaite and a critically injured Mr Kromelys, said a police spokeswoman.
Despite the best efforts of police and paramedics, Lithuanian national Mr Kromelys was pronounced dead shortly after 10pm. He had been stabbed once in the chest.
With attending officers sceptical of their accounts, detectives immediately declared a murder investigation.
Mr Kromelys' then 29-year-old girlfriend Barysaite and their housemate Jakimovas were both arrested on suspicion of his murder.
Following a four-week trial, both Barysaite and Jakimovas were found guilty by majority verdict of killing Mr Kromelys.
Barysaite was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum term of 14 years, with Jakimovas also jailed for life, with a minimum term of 14 years and eight months.
Speaking after the court hearing, Det Chief Insp Mark Oughton, senior investigating officer, said: "Barysaite and Jakimovas had always denied stabbing Zygi. Instead, they worked together and attempted to divert the early stages of the investigation, concocting numerous fictional accounts.
"First, the pair claimed that Zygi had fallen and injured himself on a spike while outside, then that he was stabbed by a third party, again while outside and lastly, that he had stabbed himself in the chest."
DCI Oughton said that CCTV footage overlooking the property proved these claims to be categorically untrue.
He added that the final clip of Mr Kromelys alive showed him taking the bins out shortly after 9pm, before re-entering the kitchen through the back door.
Nobody else had entered or exited the property before emergency services were called at 9.36pm – meaning all three were inside at the time of the stabbing.
"What exactly led to Zygi’s death we may never know, but what we can be sure of is a toxic and destructive relationship between Zygi and Barysaite, with alcohol-fuelled arguments and claims of self-harm between the pair," said DCI Oughton.
"We can surmise that an argument broke out between the three after Zygi and Jakimovas went to the shop earlier that evening.”
DCI Oughton thanked his investigation team for their meticulous piecing together of the three’s final movements that evening, which was crucial in securing the convictions.
He added: "I would like to commend the officers who spent their time watching hundreds of hours of CCTV footage. In the absence of a murder weapon, this has been an incredibly challenging investigation, and CCTV proved absolutely crucial.
"I'm pleased we have secured this double conviction, and my thoughts are now with Zygi’s family and friends.”