Viktoras Bruzas jailed for life for double murder

Viktoras Bruzas jailed for life for double murder

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Photo from the BBC

Introduction

Viktoras Bruzas believed that Patrick Kettyle was having an affair with his ex-wife. He went to his house last November to confront him with it, having armed himself with a knife.

He had previously issued threats to Mr Kettyle and received what was (probably) a harassment warning, but had not been deterred by this. Clearly, nobody was anticipating what happened next.

Facts and Sentence

Mr Bruzas stabbed Mr Kettlye in a ‘particularly brutal’ attack. It seems that his wife, Gillian intervened and was stabbed to death as well. Their teenage son was at home and locked himself in the bedroom whilst this was happening.

Mr Bruzas said to him “I have no issue with you, boy, or your mother. It’s Patrick, he’s ruined my life. I’m not scared of prison.

Mr Bruzas was arrested following a manhunt. He pleaded guilty on 1st April 2015 and was sentenced that day to life imprisonment with a minimum period of time to serve of 33 years.

Comment

We have a fact sheet on how the ‘tariff’ is calculated. Here, as there were two murders, the starting point is 30 years.

It would seem that the Judge took a starting point of about 37 years, before reducing it by 4 years to come up with the tariff (35 years, as a round number, makes more sense, but that would not appear to be sufficient credit for the plea of guilty).

Without the sentencing remarks, it is hard to know why there was an increase from 30 years. It could be that the reason is that the attacks were brutal in nature, but an argument against that might be that that is accounted for by the higher tariff of 30 years.

Hopefully the sentencing remarks will be published, but we would, only the face of it, expect an appeal.

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Dan is a barrister at 2 Dr. Johnson’s Buildings practising in crime.

1 COMMENT

  1. I can think of a few factors.
    Presumably the fact that the murders were committed in front of a child, or well, in his near presence and he knew what was going on would have been an aggrevating factor. Secondly his mother (is Gillian the Mother, whichever, certainly guardian) was murdered even though the culprit suggests there was quarrel with her would have caused the child to fear for his life.
    Thirdly, the child was orphaned by the murders.
    That lot has to add a few years. Similar reasoning was used in the Maguire case with regard to the presence of other minors.

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