Murderer handed life sentence for killing father-of-five in Huntingdon
- Credit: Cambs Police
A drug dealer who savagely attacked and murdered a man in Huntingdon after he was short changed by his daughter has been jailed for a minimum of 15 years.
Yanick Beresford, 25, realised he had been paid just £10 for drugs worth £230 after he met with a woman in Sandwich Close, Huntingdon, on October 5 2019.
Later that same night the father of the woman who had underpaid Beresford, Robert Duquemin, heard a buzzer at his door in Percy Green Place, Huntingdon.
He opened the door thinking it was his daughter but, shortly afterwards, a man with his face covered attacked him but didn’t say a word.
Mr Duquemin was punched to the head and body during the attack. The severity of the punches forced him against his neighbour’s doorframe and caused him to fall to the floor.
The hunt for Beresford led officers to his girlfriend Aiste Paulauskaite’s home in Spring Close, Huntingdon.
A search of the house revealed more than £5,000 in cash, drugs and drug paraphernalia. A damp t-shirt and pair of gloves were also found in the washing machine.
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Both were sent off for forensic testing and blood which had soaked onto the gloves was found to be Mr Duquemin’s.
Beresford was arrested shortly after midnight on October 7 but answered “no comment” to the majority questions asked by officers.
Paulauskaite was arrested and interviewed, where she admitted picking Beresford up on October 5 and driving him to and away from Mr Duquemin’s road, but denied knowing what he had done whilst there.
Mr Duquemin, 53, died at a house in Ringwood Close, Bury, Ramsey, on October 10 as a result of the attack five days earlier.
Beresford was interviewed following Mr Duquemin’s death and answered “no comment” to all questions, apart from on one occasion.
Beresford and Paulauskaite stood trial at Peterborough Crown Court from September 20, and on October 18 jurors delivered their verdicts.
Beresford was found guilty of murder and had previously pleaded guilty to supplying class A and B drugs.
Paulauskaite, 21, was found guilty of assisting an offender. She had previously admitted being concerned in the supply of class A and B drugs, and perverting the course of justice.
Both were sentenced at the same court on November 15, where Beresford was sentenced to life in prison, serving a minimum of 15 years, and Paulauskaite was sentenced to two years behind bars.
Simon Spence, mitigating for Beresford, said that his client was still a young man who was going to spend many years in custody. He said that character references speak of Beresford coming from a “respectable and supportive” family.
He added: “They are devastated by what has happened but they continue to support him and will do so as he serves his sentence.”
Phillip Farr, mitigating for Paulauskaite, urged Judge Sean Enright to suspend her prison sentence.
He added: “Character references and the pre-sentence report for my client highlight the fact that this is a young woman who made a series of poor life choices, rather than someone who would willingly and desirably embark upon a criminal lifestyle.
“This is a young woman who demonstrated exceptional bravery in ensuring that she was telling the truth and made a life-changing decision mid-trial which could have only been to her detriment.”
Sentencing, Judge Sean Enright told Beresford that he had been an “established” drug dealer for many years who had a “flourishing” drugs business.
He added: “Your victim was a frail man, at nine stone and 5 ft 4, and with mental health difficulties. You knew that, and you knew he lived alone.”
Sentencing Paulauskaite, Judge Enright said he knew Beresford had been her first boyfriend and that he had involved her in his drugs business by asking for lifts, storing drugs at her home and “normalising” this behaviour.
Judge Enright highlighted that Paulauskaite thought Beresford had only inflicted ABH level injuries when she drove him away from the attack, and that he had seen what effect seeing the photos of Mr Duquemin’s injuries during the course of the trial had on her.
Judge Enright also commended Detective Sergeant Simon Oldfield and DC Colin Richardson for their work during the course of the murder investigation.