Heckington

A Lincolnshire man attempted to murder an old school friend after speaking of the “afterlife”, a jury was told.

Christopher Thompson, 22, attacked Petras Cirtautas with a kitchen kife after arranging to meet him at Heckington railway station in August last year.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Thompson produced the kitchen knife without warning after the two men walked into Heckington together.

The two men had previously attended St George’s School in Sleaford and were old friends, the court was told.

In a witness statement Mr Cirtautas, also known as Peter, described how Thompson had been talking about the afterlife prior to the attack and then handed him a penknife.

Luke Blackburn, prosecuting, said the incident occurred after Mr Cirtautas travelled by train from Sleaford to Heckington to meet Thompson.

“The defendant tried to murder a friend of his in August last year. He tried to stab him to death,” Mr Blackburn told a jury.

Mr Blackburn said Thompson had spoken about the afterlife shortly before the attack.

“At that point, completely unprovoked, Mr Thompson attacked Mr Cirtautas with a kitchen knife, stabbing him in the chest.”

The blow punctured Mr Cirtautas’s lung and he fell to the floor.

The jury heard Mr Cirtautas tried to wrestle the knife from Thompson but suffered further injuries to his forearm, neck, chin and the back of his head.

The attack only ended when Mr Cirtautas persuaded Thompson that he would not use the knife himself if he handed it over.

After the attack Thompson, of Heckington Road, Great Hale, told Mr Cirtautas “I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to kill you.”

Thompson also remarked that Mr Cirtautas would have a better afterlife if he stabbed him before 8pm.

The court heard Mr Cirtautas was taken to the home of two off duty police officers by witnesses who came across the incident.

Mark Watson, defending Thompson, said the events outlined by the prosecution were not disputed by his defence team.

Thompson was charged with attempted murder and possessing a bladed article in a public place following the attack on 10 August last year.

However doctors later decided Thompson was unfit to enter pleas to the offences because of his mental health issues.

A jury was still required to decide if Thompson carried out the attempted murder and was in possession of a bladed article in a public place.

The jury took just 15 minutes to decide that Thompson did commit both offences.

Thompson has been remanded in custody and did not attend the hearing.

Judge Simon Hirst adjourned the case for six weeks for further medical reports on Thompson and for him to be transferred to a mental health hospital.

The judge told the jury: “On any view this was a serious incident that could have ended in a fatality.”

Investigations into how a nut factory in Heckington caught fire on Thursday have finished, though how it all began is still unclear.

Ten fire crews from across Lincolnshire attended the blaze at The Roasting Company on Station Road at around 11.30am on Thursday morning, and the last crews didn’t leave the scene until almost 1am on Friday.

Everyone inside the building was accounted for and declared safe, but due to huge smoke clouds, residents were asked to keep their doors and windows shut.

Nobody was injured in the incident. | Photo: BBC Radio Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue have now confirmed that the conclusion of their investigation found it to be accidental, but the exact reason is still undetermined.

Firefighters working to put out the blaze. | Photo: Shane Smith

The flames had gone through the roof of the steel-framed building, and people nearby to the incident said peanut skins were raining down from the sky when the factory caught fire.

Neighbouring buildings were left unscathed after the quick response from firefighters, who prevented the gulf of flames from spreading beyond the factory.

The fire has now been put out. | Photo: BBC Radio Lincolnshire

Crews from Sleaford, Donington, Kirton, Brant Broughton, Spalding, Lincoln South, Bourne, Woodhall Spa, Holbeach, Market Rasen and Boston took care of the flames.

The Lincolnite contacted The Roasting Company for a statement, but there has been no reply at the time of publication.

Multiple fire crews have rushed out to tackle a blaze at what is believed to be a nut factory in Heckington on Thursday morning.

Ten crews attended the commercial building on Station Road when it caught fire at around 11.30am on Thursday.

Everyone who was in the building has been accounted for by firefighters, and those living in surrounding areas are being asked to keep their doors and windows closed for the time being.

The flames have gone through the roof of the building. | Photo: Shane Smith

The flames have gone through the roof of the steel-framed building, and crews from Sleaford, Donington, Kirton, Brant Broughton, Spalding, Lincoln South, Bourne, and Woodhall Spa were in attendance.

Firefighters are working to put out the blaze. | Photo: Shane Smith

As well as this, a water carrier from Holbeach was deployed, an aerial ladder platform from Boston and a command support unit from Market Rasen were also at the site.

Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue tweeted at 4.14pm to say that “steady progress” is being made to damp down the blaze, and that four relief crews have been requested for 6pm.

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