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Drunken Lithuanians jailed for Burnley street attack
TWO drunken Lithuanians who subjected a “Russian” workmate to a frenzied attack have been jailed for a total of eight years.
Burnley Crown Court heard how defenceless Igor Kuznecov’s face was repeatedly stamped on during a vicious attack, which also saw him kicked, punched, and thrown around.
A witness thought he was witnessing a murder in a Nelson street.
Mr Kuznecov, 27, who was born in Lithuania and also speaks Russian, was left “completely out of it”, bleeding and not moving.
He was later found to have suffered serious facial injuries, including a smashed left eye socket and nasal bone.
His assailants, Audruis Andriukaitis, 25, of Pine Street, and Rygintas Bloze, 42, of Leeds Road, both Nelson, who had both worked with him at the Bouyant furniture factory in the town, admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent, last December 26.
They were each jailed for four years and now face deportation.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said the victim had celebrated Christmas Day at the home of Andriukaitis.
Both had been drinking vodka and they left to go to Bloze’s home nearby.
In the early hours, the defendants wanted to buy more alcohol, so all three went to find a shop still open.
The defendants became aggressive and called Mr Kuznecov a Russian.
He felt a blow to the back of the head, before the 15-minute attack in Cliffe Street, witnessed almost entirely by Mohammed Daar, who was at home. He saw former soldier Bloze holding the victim in a headlock, and he was being punched.
Bloze walked down the street with Mr Kuznecov still in a headlock. Mr Daar called the police and gave them a running commentary.
Mr Parker said father-of-three Andriukaitis kicked the victim three or four times in the face, and Bloze punched him in the stomach Mr Kuznecov was released, taken in a bear hug from behind, and the defendants threw him onto the road.
He landed faced down and was kicked in the stomach and head, pushed into a parked car, then pinned down and hit in the face more than 10 times.
Bloze then walked over and kicked Mr Kuznecov in the face, before the pair threw him across the road.
Mr Parker said: “Mr Daar says he honestly thought he was witnessing somebody being murdered.”
The prosecutor said Mr Kuznecov told police the defendants had wanted to put him in a kennel. The victim said: “They did it because they are Lithuanians and I’m Russian.”