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Witness tells murder jury he was beaten in Margate as he tried to help alleged victim Edvardus Barscevicius

By Paul Hooper

A man has told a murder jury he was beaten unconscious as he went to the aid of a severely injured pal who later died.

The battered body of Edvardus Barscevicius, 38, was discovered under a duvet on a sofa in a room in Ethelbert Terrace in Margate last July.

Canterbury Crown Court heard he died after being beaten and kicked in the head in a "vicious" assault.

Ethelbert Terrace in Margate. Picture: Google Street View.
Ethelbert Terrace in Margate. Picture: Google Street View.

Today, Polish Slawdmir Szamot told the court he had been alerted to the plight of his friend Mr Barscevicius as he waited for him in the street.

But before he could help, he claimed he was punched repeatedly until he lost consciousness.

Mr Szamot told the trial how he came to the UK last June and began working at the plant factory Thanet Earth.

He met Mr Barscevicius – who he knew as Edward – and the two had gone for a walk.

Prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC asked: "You drank vodka together?

Through an interpreter, he told the jury at Canterbury Crown Court: "Yes, yes, yes!"

He said the two were quite drunk before deciding to go out for the evening in Margate.

"Were had finished two bottles of vodka and had started on the third bottle," he said.

By 8.30pm on July 1 they were in Northdown Road, and later, Ethelbert Terrace

Mr Barscevicius, who was wearing a bracelet and a ring, then left him and walked into an alleyway while Mr Szamot spoke to a man called Max.

The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

He added: "I was getting impatient because it was 20 minutes. I wanted to know where he was. I called him on the phone.

"Then Max told me to go to the other side of the road because some men were calling. I saw Edward. He was on the ground, lying on his right side with his head facing away.

"His legs were straight and his arms were in front of him.

"I saw a blonde lady standing by his head. She was holding Edward's left hands. She was trying to drag him but she didn't manage to do it. He wasn't moving.

"I then heard the woman shouting something to a male and the male shouted back.

"I couldn't make out what was being said because it wasn't Polish.

"I wanted to approach Edward and wake him up because I thought he was asleep.”

The prosecution alleges Mr Barscevicius died after being kicked and punched.

Klaudijus Klimanskis, 41, of Athelstan Road, and Aurimas Vilius, 24, of Cornwall Gardens, both deny murder. They are also accused of assaulting Mr Szamot, causing him actual body harm.

"He thought he was Alan Shearer, because if you are into football then you would know when I say Alan Shearer is going to take a penalty, he is not going to miss" - Terence Young

Mr Szamot claimed he was attacked by at least one man before he could help his friend.

"As I approached Edward, the male punched me on my right ear," he said. "It was a hard blow and then I was punched again, all over my face. I was trying to guard my face with my hands to defend myself.

"I am sure there was (at least) one person hitting me. There could have been more people but I couldn't see because I was guarding my face. And then I fell onto the ground.

"I felt someone was hitting and punching me until I passed out. My ribs were sore. I blacked out.

"When I came to I was lying on a floor and just wanted to leave the area as quickly as possible. I never saw Edward again.

"There was a lot of blood on my face and my clothing. My wallet with £200 was still in my pockets. I got home and went to my bedroom and fell asleep."

The following morning he tried to contact his friend, who lived in the same house. He knocked on his bedroom door but received no answer.

Judge Heather Norton is presiding over the case
Judge Heather Norton is presiding over the case

Earlier, the jury heard how the alleged victim was kicked in the head by a man "as if he was Alan Shearer taking a penalty".

Terence Young told how he had been making a meal at his flat in Ethelbert Terrace and watching TV with a friend when he heard "hollering and shouting" coming from a courtyard underneath his window.

Mr Young said he looked outside and spotted a man lying on the ground. Two other men were nearby, one of whom was "about 5ft 10 and stocky", and wearing a grey hoodie.

He claimed he saw the man walking towards the stricken man, who was lying on his side with his arm outstretched.

He said: "He thought he was Alan Shearer, because if you are into football then you would know when I say Alan Shearer is going to take a penalty, he is not going to miss."

He claimed the two had been "punching and bashing" Mr Barscevicius while he was on the ground.

“He and the other man then walked towards a gate," he said. "They were standing there together. Then 'man one' walked back and took a stride and kicked the man on the floor.

“He kicked him and the man (on the ground) moved. It was a forceful kick.".

Prosecutor Philip Bennetts QC told a jury how Vilius was alleged to have been seen wearing "the dead man’s bright white trainers" following the alleged attack.

Mr Bennetts claimed the victim had been drinking with Vilius and Klimanskis in Ethelbert Terrace when an argument broke out.

The trial continues.

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