Lithuanians jailed for Boxing Day attack on Russian workmate in Nelson

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TWO drunken Lithuanian men who attacked one of their workmates because he was Russian have been jailed for four years.

Audrius Andriukaitis (42), of Leeds Road, and Rygintas Bloze (26), of Pine Street, both Nelson, were seen to kick, hit and stamp on Igor Kuznecov over and over again in the Boxing Day attack.

Mr Stephen Pickles (prosecuting) said all three had been drinking vodka and had gone into Nelson by taxi to find a shop where they could buy more alcohol. The attack began after words were exchanged when Mr Kuznecov hit Bloze. In response, the men carried out a sustained and repeated attack, lasting 15 minutes, and threatened to put him in a kennel.

Witness Mr Mohammed Daah told police he thought somebody was being murdered. Mr Pickles said the victim’s face was so covered in blood his flesh could not be seen. Two bones in his face were broken and he had a CAT scan to check for brain injuries, but did not need surgery. He had lost £1,000 in wages by the time he was able to return to work and kept having flashbacks about the attack.

Mr Daah rang the police and was able to give a running commentary on the attack outside his home in Cliffe Street, Nelson. He saw Bloze pining the victim against his car in a headlock, punching him in the stomach, and saw both men punch and kick Mr Kuznecov in the face, grab him by the legs and throw him on the ground. When he tried to protect himself, Andriukaitis sat on his stomach and rained at least 10 blows at his face.

Mr Daah said the worse part of the attack happened when the victim was unable to stand on his own. The men pulled him to his feet but he dropped to his knees and spoke to Andriukaitis, who seemed to go into a frenzy. Both picked him up, held him by the arms and threw him 20 to 25ft across the road and then both stamped on his face, over and over again for what seemed to be a long time.

Through an interpreter, Mr Recorder J.M. Barrett said he would have jailed both men for six and a half years had they not pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and been of previous good character.