UK & World News
Waiter Murder: Trio Jailed For 'Brutal' Killing
Three men who "showed no mercy" as they subjected an Italian waiter to a "brutal and sustained attack" at his home have been jailed for life for his murder.
Joele Leotta suffered more than 100 injuries to his body as he was beaten to death by Alexandras Zuravliovas, Linas Zidonas and Saulius Tamoliunas.
The trio broke into the flat Mr Leotta shared with his childhood friend Alex Galbiati, both 20, above the Italian restaurant where they worked and attacked the pair because they believed they had made a complaint about noise against one of them to their landlord.
The victims were in their pyjamas and were about to go to bed at the address in Lower Stone Street, Maidstone, on October 20, when they were set upon.
Mr Galbiati survived the assault and returned from Italy to give evidence during the 11-week trial at Maidstone Crown Court.
Zuravliovas, 26, was told he would serve a minimum term of 21 years, and Zidonas, 21, and Tamoliunas, 24, a minimum term of 20 years after a jury found them all guilty of murder and grievous bodily harm (GBH).
Judge Philip Statman told them: "You had within you murderous intent. Your conduct towards these two young men showed no mercy.
"You attacked as a pack and used a variety of weapons."
Mr Leotta's family said in a statement: "Nobody can see the pain we carry inside ourselves. It makes us unable to breathe; it makes us powerless; it leaves us empty and lonely.
"Why did this happen? He did not deserve something so ugly to happen to him. Joele was a kind, loving, respectful and determined boy. He would never show hatred, violence or cowardice."
Detective Inspector Ivan Beasley, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, described the killing as "a tragic waste of life".
He said: "An innocent young man who came to England with his friend for an adventure, to work and to learn the language, was beaten to death.
"Joele had over 100 injuries, which evidences a brutal and sustained attack."
A fourth defendant, Tomas Gelezinis, 31, was also charged with murder and GBH but was acquitted.