Drink-drive killer was axe murderer

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A DRINK-driver who killed a Brothertoft moped rider was a convicted axe murderer.

It was revealed that Intars Pless, 34, had previously been convicted of murder in his native Latvia after he was found guilty of causing the death of Valentina Planciunene, 37, at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday.

Judge Sean Morris called for Pless to be deported at the end of his sentence, which will be decided at a later date.

Pless had been living in Hilda Street in Boston after coming to the country in 2010 when he was released from prison.

He had been convicted of using an axe to ‘garrot’ a drinking companion in 1994.

To hide the evidence after carving through his victim’s jugular artery Pless set fire to the house.

Stuart Lody, prosecuting, said: “The court maybe astonished to know the British authorities had no way of knowing if a foreign national convicted of murder is in the country until that person is charged under an English law and they can do a check.

“Lincolnshire Police had no idea a man such as this was living among the good people of Boston.”

Judge Morris admitted he was ‘not surprised’ to hear this before warning Pless that he was facing a substantial time in prison when he is sentenced at a later date.

The jury heard Miss Planciunene, who came to the UK from Belarus four years ago, was riding her 125cc machine to her job at a local food processing factory on February 15 when she was knocked into the path of an oncoming people carrier by a car driven by Pless.

Pless then drove away from the scene leaving her dead on the Boardsides, at Wyberton Fen.

Prosecutor Stuart Lody told the jury: “On the night of Valentine’s Day he decided it would be a perfectly good idea to drink a very large quantity of whisky.

“He and a friend spent a considerable period of time drinking whisky and driving around. During the driving he was possibly drinking whisky as well. An empty whisky bottle was found in the boot of the car.

“At the time of the collision he was heavily under the influence of alcohol. His ability to drive would have been severely impaired.”

The court heard how Pless had 140 milligrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood when tested. The legal driving limit is 80.

By ‘back-tracking’ forensic scientists estimated he was at least two and a half times the legal limit at the time of the collision.

A moving statement from Miss Planciunene’s partner, Darien Long, was read out after the guilty verdict was returned.

In the statement Mr Long, 44, who lived with Miss Planciunene in Kirton Drove, described her as his ‘best friend’ adding: “When we first saw each other, I suppose you could say, it was love at first sight.

“She was my life, not a day goes by without me thinking of her and missing her.”

Remanding Pless into custody Judge Morris told him: “On Valentine’s Day, Darien Long said goodbye to his partner, Valentina. Thanks to you she never came back.”

Judge Morris also commended the team of Lincolnshire police officers who had brought Pless to justice. The court heard hundreds of manhours were dedicated to securing his conviction, with officers sent to Lativa to eliminate another Latvian man Pless falsely claimed was driving.