Felixstowe: Convicted rapists fail in their bid for freedom

THREE men who acted like a pack of animals during the gang rape of a 16-year-old girl have failed in their bids for freedom.

Ringleader Arturas Bagdziunas and Minddaugas Mickevicius and Alvaras Urbonas were jailed for a total of 32 years for attacking the teenager at a house in Holland Road, Felixstowe, early on January 1, 2010.

However, the dock workers asked for their Ipswich Crown Court convictions and sentences to be quashed at the Court of Appeal in London.

They appealed on the complexity of the directions given by the judge to the jury and the way the verdicts were taken.

Bagdziunas, 30, had his conviction for anal rape quashed due to the way the verdict for this count was taken, although two further counts of rape were upheld.

Bagziunas’ original sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment was reduced to 11 years to reflect this.

Mickevicius, 32, and Urbonas, 27, had their appeals on the two rape verdicts each were convicted of thrown out and were told their ten-year sentences would remain unchanged.

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Lord Justice Moses said: “These were serious cases of a group sexually abusing a young girl of 16, who was vulnerable through the drink she had taken. That the appellants joined with others in committing sexual offences make this particularly serious.”

During their trial at Ipswich Crown Court last year the jury heard part of the girl’s ordeal was filmed on a mobile phone as the rapists laughed.

Sentencing Bagdziunas, formerly of Leeward Court, Felixstowe, Mickevicius, formerly of Holland Road, Felixstowe, and Urbonas, formerly of Sea Road, Felixstowe, Judge Rupert Overbury said: “The three of you subjected (the victim) to what I believe to be an appalling, gratuitous, sexual ordeal.

“I’m satisfied you subjected her to unbelievably cruel physical and mental torment over a period of just less than an hour.

“You behaved like a pack of animals, each taking your turn to dominate and degrade her.

“You, Mr Bagdziunas, were involved from the very beginning when you gained (her) trust on the streets of Felixstowe and brought her back to Holland Road. She thought she was going there to chill out and have a drink to celebrate New Year.

“It is obvious to me that from the moment she agreed to return to that address you had more sinister things on your mind.”

Judge Overbury said Bagdziunas, a married father-of-one, had showed “complete and utter contempt” for his victim.

They had all denied three rape offences, but were found guilty of joint enterprise oral and vaginal rape by 10-2 majority verdicts.