March 13, 2023 4.00 pm This story is over 15 months old

Murder accused denies throwing Lincoln man into River Witham

Igors Petrovs was found three days after the alleged murder

A man accused of taking part in a murder on the banks of the River Witham in Lincoln told a jury he was “not joining in anything.”

The body of Igors Petrovs, 45, was found in the Waterside North area of Lincoln three days after his alleged murder in August last year.

Kaspars Spiridonovs, 41, of Shuttleworth House, Stamp End, Lincoln, and Andrejs Servutas, 44, of Monks Road, Lincoln, both deny the murder of Mr Petrovs during the early hours of 21 August, 2022.

The prosecution allege Mr Petrovs was beaten up by the two men and then unceremoniously dumped into the River Witham after his bike was also thrown into the water.

Giving evidence at Lincoln Crown Court, Mr Spiridonovs insisted he was five to ten metres behind Mr Servutas when Mr Servutas became involved in a “kerfuffle” with Mr Petrovs.

Prosecution barrister Christopher Donnellan KC showed Mr Spiridonovs CCTV footage which allegedly shows the position of the three men.

Mr Spiridonovs said he was ten metres behind Mr Servutas when the other man directed some questions to Mr Petrovs and then hit him.

Under questioning from Mr Donnellan, Mr Spiridonovs agreed it was “absolutely correct” that Mr Servutas just threw Mr Petrovs’ bike into the water.

Mr Donnellan asked Mr Spiridonovs: “You could clearly see what was happening in front of you?”

“Yes quite correct, but at the same time the eye sight was in the dark and the distance,” Mr Spiridonovs replied.

Mr Donnellan then highlighted footage which the prosecution allege shows Mr Spiridonovs joining in the attack on Mr Petrovs.

“You are joining in the attack on Mr Petrovs who is on the ground?,” Mr Donnellan alleged.

Mr Spiridonovs replied: “That is not what it is.”

Mr Donnellan then added: “After Mr Petrovs was repeatedly hit by Mr Servutas,” to which Mr Spiridonovs replied: “That is not so.”

When asked by Mr Donnellan if he was trying to stop Mr Servutas from hitting Mr Petrovs, Mr Spiridonovs admitted: “No I did not try to stop.”

Asked why the footage appeared to show him moving closer to Mr Servutas, Mr Spiridonovs insisted: “I came closer to the river for a call of nature.”

The prosecution allege Mr Spiridonovs then helped Mr Servutas throw Mr Petrovs into the River Witham.

But Mr Spiridonovs told Mr Donnellan: “Maybe he asked me to help him but I didn’t help him.”

All three men were known to each other and came from the same town in Latvia, with Mr Petrovs living in the Moorland Avenue area of Lincoln.

The jury heard Mr Servutas admits unlawfully killing Mr Petrovs and has pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter on 21 August last year.

Mr Spiridonovs, who lived in a 12th floor Stamp End flat with his partner, denies manslaughter by acting jointly with Mr Servutas to unlawfully kill Mr Petrovs.

Both men deny the murder of Mr Petrovs whose body was not found until three days after the alleged killing on 24 August.

The trial continues.

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