Man found guilty of raping woman thanks to partly smoked cigarette loses appeal

Trial judge well within rights to admit DNA sample taken in Lithuania - appeals judge

Andrius Lipinskas (41), formerly of Bayside Square South, in Sutton, north Dublin had pleaded not guilty to three counts of oral rape and one of aggravated sexual assault at a place in Dublin in August 2010.

Andrius Lipinskas (41), formerly of Bayside Square South, in Sutton, north Dublin had pleaded not guilty to three counts of oral rape and one of aggravated sexual assault at a place in Dublin in August 2010.

 

A convicted murderer who was found guilty of raping and violently assaulting a woman in her home thanks to DNA found on a partly-smoked cigarette has lost an appeal against his conviction.

Andrius Lipinskas (41), formerly of Bayside Square South, in Sutton, north Dublin had pleaded not guilty to three counts of oral rape and one of aggravated sexual assault at a place in Dublin in August 2010.

The Central Criminal Court heard that the victim had been out socialising with friends when she returned home. As she entered her hallway, she was pushed inside by Lipinskas, a stranger, who threatened to kill her.

Lipinskas proceeded to rape and violently assault her in various locations of the house. She had been dragged upstairs but at one stage, managed to run downstairs and escape.

Of significance to the investigation was the retrieval of a partly smoked cigarette from the bottom of the stairs in the house.

Enquiries established that Lipinskas left Ireland for his native Lithuania, having travelled through England in August 2010.

DNA sample

A “mutual assistance” request was made for a DNA sample to be taken from Lipinskas in Lithuania, which was provided in February 2012. The DNA profile that was generated matched the profile generated from the partly smoked cigarette.

In due course, Lipinskas was extradited to Ireland before being put on trial.

He was unanimously found guilty by a jury on all counts after three hours of deliberations, and was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with the final two-and-a-half years suspended by Mr Justice Tony Hunt on June 6th, 2019.

The sentencing court heard that Lipinskas had received a 15-year prison sentence in Lithuania for murder committed in his native country on November 16, 1995.

He lost an appeal against his conviction on Friday despite arguments from his barrister, Michael Bowman SC, that the trial judge erred in ruling admissible the DNA sample taken in Lithuania as well as Lipinskas’ recorded response to being charged, that was not read back to him at the time, but went unchallenged in the District Court one hour later.

President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice George Birmingham said the trial judge was well within his rights to admit the DNA sample taken in Lithuania. He said the procedure that was followed in Lithuania “mirrored” the procedure followed in Ireland and there was no unfairness, nor oppression.

Secondly, he said it would have been inconceivable for the judge to have excluded Lipinskas’ response to being charged.

Mr Justice Birmingham, who sat with Mr Justice Patrick McCarthy and Ms Justice Isobel Kennedy, said “nothing causes us to have any doubt” about the fairness of the trial, or the safety of the verdict.

The appeal was therefore dismissed.