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Man jailed after killing his wife following argument

An abusive husband has been jailed after he admitted killing his wife.

Vitoldas Platakis accepted responsibility for the death of Valdemara Zemaitiene, who was found dead at their home in July 2021.

Platakis said he attacked the 48-year-old following an argument at his home in Newark, Nottinghamshire  – but that he did not intend to kill her.

He pleaded guilty to manslaughter on May 9 and was back at Nottingham Crown Court this afternoon (26 May) for sentencing.

He showed no emotion in the dock as a judge jailed him for nine years and four months.

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Emergency services were called to the couple’s home in Victoria Street at 11.20am on 22 July last year after Platakis told a passer-by to call 999 as his wife had died.

Police and paramedics entered the property and found Ms Zemaitiene’s body in an upstairs bedroom.

She had extensive bruising and a post mortem examination found she had died from a ruptured spleen, which caused internal bleeding.

Platakis, now 51, was arrested at the scene and taken into custody after telling officers “I kill my wife, I kill my wife”.

At today’s sentencing hearing, prosecutor John Lloyd-Jones QC outlined the circumstances of the case.

He said the couple had a “volatile relationship” and that Platakis was often violent towards her, especially when he had been drinking to excess.

He described Ms Zemaitiene as the “breadwinner” in the relationship, working six days a week at a local car wash and that Platakis would turn up most days to ask for money.

Referring to the morning Ms Zemaitiene was found dead, Mr Lloyd-Jones said the precise timing of her death could not be established but that neighbours had heard “lots of shouting and banging” in the hours leading up to the discovery of her badly-bruised body.

The discovery was made when Platakis flagged down a member of the public in the street and said, “Help, my wife is dead”.

Police and paramedics quickly arrived at the scene but it was apparent Ms Zemaitiene had been dead for a number of hours.

Mr Lloyd-Jones went on to say that Platakis – a father-of-two who moved to the UK following the collapse of a previous marriage in his native Lithuania – had been in a relationship with Ms Zemaitiene for over 10 years and that there was no question he had unlawfully killed her.

“The death of the deceased was no accident,” he said. “Unlawful force sufficient to rupture her spleen was used against her.”

Mr Lloyd-Jones added Ms Zemaitiene’s family had chosen not to attend court as they did not wish to come face-to-face with her killer. However he said they had provided a statement in which they said Ms Zemaitiene’s death had been “emotionally painful” for them all and there had been “a lot of crying, mourning and shock”.

Clive Stockwell, mitigating on Platakis’ behalf, said his client “does not seek to put forward any justification for what took place”, adding that he was “deeply regretful”.

Sentencing Platakis, Judge Gregory Dickinson QC said: “On the night of 21-22 July last year, you killed Valdemara Zemaitiene. You struck her with so much force it ruptured her spleen.

“That night there was a row. We know this because neighbours heard shouting and banging. You attacked her and caused her death. You did not intend to but that was the result of what you did.

“Valdemara is dead. Her sister, niece and others have lost a beloved relative and friend. The effect will last on them for a lifetime.”

Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Neil Beddoe, who led the investigation, expressed sympathy for Ms Zemaitiene’s family.

He said: “This is a harrowing case and serves as a stark reminder of the devastating impact domestic violence can have.

“Not for the first time, Platakis subjected Valdemara to a brutal and sustained attack and she tragically lost her life as a result.

“While nothing can bring her back, I hope this conviction provides some sense of justice for Valdemara’s family and friends and our thoughts remain with them at this time.

“I would also urge neighbours, friends, colleagues or family to report concerns of domestic abuse, as your call might be the one that stops a cycle of domestic violence.”

Tackling domestic abuse remains a key priority for Nottinghamshire Police and the force continues to urge victims to come forward.

Detective Inspector Melanie Crutchley said: “I want to reassure anyone who is suffering domestic abuse that Nottinghamshire Police is here to help and support you – you are not alone.

“We consistently work with partners to tackle this issue are dedicated to holding perpetrators to account by bringing these cases to court.

“If you are in danger, please call 999 and we will come to your aid.”

A number of confidential support services remain available to those experiencing domestic abuse.

They include the Silent Solution police system, which people can use to report an emergency when it’s not safe for them to speak.


 

The following organisations offer support to survivors of domestic abuse within Nottinghamshire.

To report domestic abuse to Nottinghamshire Police, please call the 101 non-emergency number or, in an emergency, always call 999.

Police Silent Solution: https://www.policeconduct.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Documents/research-learning/Silent_solution_guide.pdf

For more information about Domestic Abuse please read this supporting survivors of domestic abuse page.

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Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid website

Nottinghamshire Women’s Aid provides an extensive range of services for women, young people and children.

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Newark Women’s Aid website

Newark Women’s Aid provides safe accommodation, with associated support services, for women with or without children, who are living with or have experienced any form of physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or economic abuse. Tel: 01636 679687

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Domestic Violence Assist

The UK’s only registered charity arranging Non-Molestation Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders & Occupation Orders

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Men’s Advice Line website

Men’s Advice Line is a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic violence and abuse.

It offers emotional support, practical advice and information on a wide range of services for further help and support.

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Juno Women’s Aid

Juno’s 24-hour domestic and sexual violence helpline offers support to women, teenage girls and children who have been affected by domestic or sexual abuse.

Tel: 0808 800 0340

Email: enquiries@junowomensaid.org.uk

Deaf and hearing-impaired women can access the Helpline by:

Text Relay/NGT: 18001 0808 800 0340 24 hours a day

Email: helpline@junowomensaid.org.uk daily, 9am – 9pm

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Equation: Domestic abuse support for men

Equation provide a free helpline for men which is available Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 4.30pm.

A 24/7 confidential answerphone service is also available.

Call: 0115 960 5556

Email: helpline@equation.org.uk

Equation also runs the Respect not fear website for younger people which offers help, advice and links to support.

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Nottinghamshire Alliance Against Violence

Make a stand against violence. ‘Like’ our Alliance Against Violence Facebook page

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Nottinghamshire Independent Domestic Abuse Service website

NIDAS is a registered charity, formerly known as Mansfield and Ashfield Women’s Aid.

Its aim is to help people experiencing domestic abuse.

They work hard with other agencies to raise awareness of domestic abus

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Karma Nirvana website

Karma Nirvana is a registered charity that supports victims and survivors of forced marriage and honour-based abuse.

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Brightsky App

A free to download app providing support and information to those affected by Domestic Abuse, available in 5 languages, has a unique directory of support services and links of further resources including a journal which you can record incidents.

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Hollie Guard App

Safeguarding people- a simple shake or tap activates Hollie guard, immediately notifying your chosen contacts, pinpointing your location and sending audio and video evidence directly to their mobile phones.

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Broxtowe Women’s Project (BWP)

BWP are here to help women living in the Borough of Broxtowe who are experiencing domestic abuse.We provide a confidential helpline, outreach service, training courses and drop in sessions, all aimed at empowering women and to help them survive domestic abuse.

Find out more about our services below.

Call us if you need our help on 01773 719 111 or email enquiries@broxtowewp.org

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