May 26, 2021 7.10 pm This story is over 14 months old

Man committed suicide after strangling partner to death, inquest finds

He also domestically abused three previous partners

An inquest into the death of a Spalding woman has found that she was strangled to death by her partner, who then went on to hang himself.

Karolina Zinkeviciene, 30, was killed by Breshnev Ruiters, who had reportedly domestically abused three previous partners before meeting Karolina.

The inquest hearing in Lincoln found that Ruiters, 34, strangled one of the women to the point where she accepted she would die.

Karolina had been warned by the previous victim just weeks before her murder.

She had only been in a relationship with Ruiters for a few months, but he was described as “aggressive and a dangerous person” by his previous partner.

The couple’s bodies were found at their home in Winsover Road, Spalding, just after 5.30am on June 25, 2020.

The previous night, the couple had been drinking at a barbecue and could be heard arguing into the early hours of the morning in their home.

A blood sample from Breshnev’s body found that he was almost two-and-a-half times over the drink drive limit.

DS Calley Murray, of Lincolnshire Police, said that Karolina had texted the woman who warned her, to ask whether Ruiters had hit her, to which she replied: “yes, many times. Be careful, you cannot change him.”

Karolina’s reply to this message was that she will change him, but she was dead just weeks later.

DS Murray said: “Had Breshnev not committed suicide, he would have been arrested for the murder of Karolina and referred to the CPS for a charging decision for the offence of murder.”

The inquest heard of a police caution that Ruiters was given in 2007 after grabbing his then partner.

From 2010 he then began a seven-year relationship, described as “toxic”, with the mother of his two children.

In court he admitted to attacking her on three separate occasions, receiving an 18-month conditional discharge for his actions.

In March 2017 he then threatened to kill himself with a knife in front of another partner, the one he choked to the point of her accepting death.

The victim then withdrew a complaint to police through fears that Ruiters would in fact kill her, but a prosecution continued and he was monitored by an electronic tag.

After his behaviour improved, the victim allowed him to continue living with her.

Later, he put a knife under her chin which caused her to crash into a neighbour’s car and drive off in panic.

The hearing at Karolina’s inquest was told that she had not filed any reports of domestic violence against her partner.

Post mortem showed bruising to both bodies, some of which had been caused by a rod-like item that police couldn’t find.

Coroner Paul Cooper concluded that Karolina’s “tragic” death was unlawful killing, and Breshnev’s was suicide.