Head-on-beach accused refuses to speak at trial

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THE man accused of murdering and cutting off the head of a Lithuanian worker has elected to remain silent at his trial, it was announced yesterday.

Vitas Plytnykas, 41, will not go into the witness box to give evidence, and the jury is expected to hear closing speeches from the prosecution and the defence today, and be asked tomorrow to return a verdict.

The High Court in Edinburgh was told during the final chapters of evidence yesterday that Plytnykas's fingerprints had been found on bags containing the dead woman's belongings, but DNA tests had found no links between him and Jolanta Bledaite, 35.

The severed head and hands of Ms Bledaite were found washed up on a beach at Arbroath on 1 April last year.

Aleksandras Skirda, 20, a fellow Lithuanian who lived in the same Brechin flat as Ms Bledaite has pleaded guilty to murder and dismembering the body. The trial continues.