Saturday 18 November 2017

Convicted vicious rapist moved to London where he murdered his neighbour

James Citro: murdered Nijole Siskeviciene before dumping her body in garages near her home
James Citro: murdered Nijole Siskeviciene before dumping her body in garages near her home
Nijole Siskeviciene

Edel Kennedy

A MAN convicted of two vicious rapes in Ireland later moved to the UK where he murdered a Lithuanian cleaning lady.

James Kennedy, who changed his name to James Citro, murdered Nijole Siskeviciene in 1998 but managed to evade justice for 12 years despite living just two doors from her in London.

In a series of bogus letters intended to send police on a wild goose chase, he tried to blame "two black men'' for the murder, the Old Bailey heard.

Seated in a wheelchair in court yesterday, Citro showed no emotion as the jury unanimously convicted him of the 1998 murder. He now faces life in prison.

He was not linked to the crime for 12 years until he was stopped for drink-driving and a DNA sample was taken.

It then emerged he had been jailed in Ireland for 10 years after being convicted of raping two women in separate attacks in the 1970s.

Police in the UK are now appealing for anyone who was attacked during the period when he was living in south-west England or London to contact them.

Originally from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, the 54-year-old had managed to evade suspicion even though he lived just yards away from the victim. Police bungling also meant he was not arrested for questioning -- even after blatantly lying to investigators.

The court heard that Ms Siskeviciene moved into a bedsit two doors away from Citro in Lancelot Road, Wembley, London, a week before she died.

Ms Siskeviciene, who had a teenage son, had come to the UK from Lithuania in 1997 and hoped for a career as a secretary but often worked at as cleaner. She was described as being her "normal, happy self" on October 20, 1998, the last morning she was seen alive.

Lure

Citro had spotted her when he was walking his dog and detectives believe he invented some sort of excuse to lure her into his house.

Prosecutor Phillip Bennetts said: "She died as a result of ligature strangulation. Her underwear was inside out and, together with evidence of DNA on her body and clothing, that evidence is clear and consistent with there having been sexual activity prior to, or at the time of, her death."

As the investigation started, Citro wrote two anonymous letters to police claiming he had seen two black men carrying a body out of the house and left his fingerprints on both letters. So convincing were the letters that the police treated them as credible and they made a number of appeals for the "witnesses" to come forward.

He was questioned as a potential witness and told police the victim had patted his dog and he had investigated a water leak in her bedsit -- but neither his DNA nor prints were taken.

In a house-to-house questionnaire taken four days after his statement, he claimed he had never seen the victim.

But the investigation at the time failed to expose the simple lie and he moved to the seaside town of Weston-Super-Mare where he changed his name by deed poll in 2003.

It was not until July last year that he was arrested for drink- driving and provided a DNA sample which matched saliva from the victim's bra strap and the back of her neck.

Citro, of Abbots Close, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, is due to be sentenced on December 9, after seeing a psychiatrist.

Judge David Paget said it was in the public interest for Citro to be assessed by doctors after he spotted some "rather disturbing" musings from the killer, which had been written while he was in prison in Ireland.

Irish Independent

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