Eventually brought to justice
- From: "Dmitry" <dmitrijsfedotovs@xxxxxxxx>
- Date: 29 Mar 2006 13:41:21 -0800
LONDON (Reuters) - A Latvian man was jailed for life and told he would
never be released after being convicted on Wednesday of raping and
murdering a teenage London girl as she headed home after a shopping
Viktors Dembovskis, who had worked in Britain as a car wash attendant
despite having previous rape convictions back in Latvia, was found
guilty at the Old Bailey of the savage assault on 17-year-old Jeshma
Raithatha in May 2005.
He attacked Raithatha on a footpath in Sudbury Hill, west London, and
dragged her into woodland at knifepoint.
He strangled her until she was unconscious, raped her and then stabbed
her three times through the heart so she could not identify him.
Her partially clothed body was discovered eight days later in dense
One pathologist described the injuries as the worst he had ever seen.
Dembovskis fled to his homeland after the attack but was detained
shortly afterwards by Latvian authorities in the eastern town of
Livani, 150 miles (240 km) east of the Baltic state's capital of Riga.
Dembovskis fought extradition but Latvian authorities handed him over
to Britain last July.
When asked during the trial how he explained the billion to one chance
that incriminating DNA found at the scene was not his he replied:
"London's a big city".
Judge Peter Beaumont said Dembovskis, who had convictions for two rapes
in Latvia, had not "displayed a jot of remorse for the appalling
"For behaviour as appalling as that there is only one sentence the
court can pass and that is a life sentence from which you will never,
ever be released," he told him.
The court heard that Raithatha was a happy, bright, popular student who
was about to take her A-levels and had won a place at London's
VICTIM'S FAMILY ANGRY
Her family condemned the fact that Dembovskis had been allowed into
Britain despite his convictions.
"We have to ask how and why this came about -- what checks were made
about his background before he was allowed to set foot on British
soil?" they said in a statement.
They added: "Jeshma was a beautiful young lady on the threshold of her
18th birthday. She was a playful and caring person, who adored life.
Police also condemned the killer for putting the family through the
trauma of a trial despite the overwhelming evidence against him.
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