Kettering murder trial: Friend thought dead body claim was a joke

A man laughed off his friend's claim that a dead body was inside a Kettering flat, oblivious to the fact there actually was one there, a court heard.

Mindaugas Kaminskas, 29, is on trial accused of murdering fellow Lithuanian Juozas Meilunas with a wooden table leg.

Juozas Meilunas.

Juozas Meilunas.

Mr Meilunas' decomposing body was found under a duvet at a flat in Woodlands Court on Boxing Day after a flood. A forensic entomologist deduced it was likely he died in late September or early October.

READ MORE: Accused 'said he had to set fire to flat'

Today (Friday) Northampton Crown Court heard evidence from another of Kaminskas' former colleagues who met him while he worked at Kettering print firm Eclipse Colour.

Richard Wooton stayed in touch with Kaminskas, who lived in his landlady's shed for a while before leaving after being asked to pay for his use of the amenities inside the house.

On October 10 Kaminskas turned up at Mr Wooton's door but he was not in. Two days later, on October 12, they met and went for a walk around Wicksteed Park where he told him what was inside his home.

Mr Wooton said: "He said there was a dead body in his flat but that he didn't kill him. He said he didn't want to report it because he would lose where he was living.

"I just dismissed it. He mentioned about keeping it as a trophy...he asked if I wanted to come and see it. I said 'not really, I've seen enough horrible things in my life'."

READ MORE: Victim struck in 'explosion of violence'

Mr Wooton told the court he did not believe him and changed the subject to fishing, a hobby they shared.

He said: "It was just 'ha, ha, ha', a joke. It felt like mucking about.

"I did not take it seriously for one second. Now I do."

He added that Kaminskas kept drifting into Lithuanian without realising it.

READ MORE: Body undiscovered for 12 weeks

Earlier this week jurors were told of Kaminskas' previous conviction for assault after repeatedly punching someone in London.

Mr Wooton said he had seen his friend punch a coffee machine at work but had never seen any aggression towards people.

Defending, Isabella Forshall said: "If you for one minute thought [he had killed someone] you would have done something about it, wouldn't you?"

Mr Wooton said: "Of course. I had never seen him be aggressive to any person. He would punch things, but I never saw him hurt anyone."

The trial, which started on Monday, is expected to last three weeks.