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Belfast murder accused tried to carve 'rat' into friend's chest, court told


Police at scene on Oakley Street in May 2020. Photo by Pacemaker

Police at scene on Oakley Street in May 2020. Photo by Pacemaker

Police at scene on Oakley Street in May 2020. Photo by Pacemaker

A man allegedly kicked his friend to death and then tried to carve the word 'rat' into his chest, a court was told on Friday.

Police also claimed Lithuanian national Sarunas Nauburaitis, 34, poured bleach over the dead man's face in a bid to disguise his identity.

Maris Ludborzs' body lay undiscovered in the accused's north Belfast home for up to a week.

Nauburaitis, of Oakley Street in the city, is charged with murdering Mr Ludborzs on May 16-17 this year.

The 44-year-old victim's identity was confirmed following checks carried out in his native Latvia.

Belfast Magistrates' Court was told Nauburaitis walked into a PSNI station on May 23, claiming he had killed his friend.

Officers went to his home and found Mr Ludborzs lying dead in the kitchen.

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According to police Nauburaitis admitted attacking the victim for offending him in some way while they were drinking together.

"Because of this he kicked the deceased to the head, and proceeded to kick him between 20 and 30 times," a detective inspector said.

"The defendant said he then attempted to pour bleach on the deceased's face to try to mask his identity."

Nauburaitis claimed he also put a bin bag over Mr Ludborzs' head "to ensure death", District Judge George Conner was told.

Setting out further details from police interviews, the detective disclosed: "He stated that he attempted to carve the word 'rat' into the deceased's chest."

A sleeping bag had been placed over the dead man's body, with a toy skeleton rodent located in his boxer shorts - allegedly placed there by the accused.

The court was told a number of other people visited Nauburaitis' home throughout that week.

Bail was opposed due to claims he poses a severe risk of re-offending.

"The defendant stated that he enjoyed the murder," the detective added.

"He also said that he took pleasure in killing animals as an adolescent."

Amid suggestions that Nauburaitis may have been trafficked into Northern Ireland, concerns were raised that he could flee if released.

Defence barrister Richard McConkey stressed his client made no admissions to murder during police interviews.

"This man has no criminal record in this jurisdiction," counsel argued.

Refusing bail, however, Mr Conner ruled: "The public would be put at too high a risk of harm being done."

He remanded Nauburaitis in custody, to appear again in four weeks time.

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