|Pizza Deliveryman Murder Convictions Upheld|
Two men jailed for the murder of Vytautas Jelinskas in 2000
Two men were sentenced to life imprisonment yesterday (December 17th) for the murder of pizza deliveryman Vytautas Jelinskas, nearly 16 years ago in Wandsworth. Their convictions followed a retrial at the Old Bailey.
Barry Hillman, 35, of Galesbury Road, Wandsworth, and Paul Gowans, 43, of Elliott Court, Wandsworth were found guilty of the murder of Vytautas Jelinskas.
Hillman was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 11 years. Gowans sentenced to life and sentenced to life with a minimum term of 13 years.
On the evening of 29th January 2000 at around 9pm, Vytautas Jelinskas, a 43-year-old Lithuanian national of Whitlock Drive, Wandsworth, was delivering a pizza when he was approached by two men outside Wentworth Court in Garratt Lane. The men robbed him and subjected him to a violent assault. Mr Jelinskas suffered a serious head injury and was hospitalised.
Hillman and Gowans were arrested and subsequently convicted of robbery and grievous bodily harm in August 2000.
Days after their conviction, Mr Jelinskas died from the injuries sustained in the assault seven months previously. The two men were charged with Mr Jelinskas’ murder and tried at the Old Bailey between 17th and 24th August 2001. They were convicted of murder and received substantial life sentences.
In 2014, the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) received an application from the defendants asking for a review of their conviction. During the review by the CCRC, no record of the Attorney General’s consent to charging Hillman and Gowans could be found, and it was therefore decreed that it was never obtained.
This led to a hearing where the murder convictions were annulled and a re-trial was ordered. The Attorney General’s authority was secured on 17th March 2015.
Acting Detective Inspector Susan Stansfield, of the Special Casework Investigation Team, said, "This has been a difficult time for Mr Jelinskas’ family, who have had to face a new trial after all this time. Mr Jelinskas was out working when he was subjected to a vicious assault by Hillman and Gowans, which left him severely injured until his death some seven months later. It was important that these two men were held responsible for their actions and to have their life sentences reinstated."