Latvian national Jurijs Popovs sentenced to life behind bars after being convicted of murdering partner's son Dimitris Titovs at Teynham flats
Jurijs Popovs, jailed for murder
A Latvian man has been jailed for life after a jury convicted him of murdering his partner's son in the early hours of New Year's Day.
Jurijs Popovs must serve at least 17 years before he can be released, a judge at Maidstone Crown Court ruled today.
The 47-year-old thug stabbed his partner's son Dimitrijs Titovs at flats in Teynham, near Sittingbourne, on January 1.
Popovs had denied murder and an alternative charge of manslaughter, implying it must have been the victim's mother Svetlana Kandate who inflicted the fatal chest wound.
Passing sentence today Judge Phlip Statman told Popovs he had a controlling personality and "a capacity to engender fear" in others.
"I am satisfied so I am sure that you intended to kill the deceased," said the judge.
"That intention was formed, in my judgement, within a short period of time but I am satisfied that when you left the kitchen armed with the knife you intended to kill him."
Maidstone Crown Court heard there had been bad feeling and violent rows between the two men before the tragedy at Henley Place, in London Road.
Mr Titovs, 21, went to the flats late on New Year's Eve to celebrate with his mother.
Police investigate in London Road, Teynham. Picture: @Kent_999s on Twitter
Prosecutor Kalyani Kaul QC said Popovs and Mr Titovs clashed in the early hours. There was then a row between Popovs and Miss Kandate, 41, inside their flat.
Fearing for his mother's safety, Mr Titovs and friends banged on the door. As Miss Kandate opened it, her son fell or stumbled in.
He was stabbed and collapsed in the doorway. An ambulance was called, but he died soon afterwards.
Miss Kandate told the jury after the fatal injury was inflicted she jumped out of a window on the first floor and next recalled being in the street.
A forencis van is parked at the scene. Picture: @Kent_999s on Twitter
Asked why she jumped, she replied: "Dimitris said if I stayed in the flat, I would get the same as what happened to my son."
Popovs denied through a Russian interpreter that he stabbed the victim.
He showed no emotion or any reaction to the guilty verdict.
Judge Statman said Popovs had done "absolutely nothing" to help Mr Titovs after the stabbing and shown no remorse.
He added that although there was a limited degree of provocation from Mr Titovs, the offence of murder was aggravated by Popovs arming himself with a knife.
Ali Bajwa QC, defending, argued that the use of the knife was spontaneous and Popovs had not intended to kill Mr Titovs when he picked it up.
He also told the court that there was no suggestion that Miss Kandate was guilty of any crime but had stabbed her son by accident.
Popovs legal team has already lodged an appeal against conviction.
Sentencing had been adjourned to allow the prosecution to investigate an allegation that Popovs had killed before in Russia in 1988.
"I am satisfied that when you left the kitchen armed with the knife you intended to kill him" - Judge Philip Statman
Prosecutor Kalyani Kaul QC said at the end of the trial that he had been jailed for seven years and eight months for causing the death of a man by using excessive self-defence.
But today Miss Kaul told the court the prosecution had been unable to obtain details from the Russian authorities.
Plus, it was not a conviction admitted by Popovs and she therefore did not rely on it in court.
However, Miss Kaul said Popovs had been convicted in his home country in 2002 of pushing a teenage girl through an open window after she refused to have a sexual relationship with him.
She fell onto a concrete path and sustained injuries including fractures to both her upper and lower jaws and loss of teeth.
Popovs was convicted of causing moderate bodily harm and jailed for two years.
Judge Statman told Popovs he regarded that offence as being equivalent to causing grievous bodily harm in English law.
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