Man jailed for murder of two friends in frenzied attack in Ilford

Mick Ferris

A Met investigation has led to a man being jailed for more than three decades for the murder of two men in Ilford.

Vepkhvia Laliashvili, 53, of Prince Regent Lane, E13, appeared at the Old Bailey on Thursday, July 21 where he was sentenced to 35 years’ imprisonment for the murders of Dainius Kulboka and Jonas Semena in Ilford.

Laliashvili, who is Georgian, had previously been found guilty at the Old Bailey on July 18 and was remanded in custody to await sentencing.

The court had heard that at around 4:20am on January 10, 2021, police were called to reports of two men stabbed at a residential property in Tavistock Gardens, Goodmayes.

Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service and found Dainius, aged 44, and Jonas, aged 45, who were both Lithuanian, seriously injured.

Both men died at the scene.

Extensive CCTV and house to house enquiries were supported by a meticulous investigation that built a picture of the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

CCTV recorded at a nearby shop on the afternoon of January 9, 2021 showed the two victims buying alcohol with Laliashvili. The group appeared to be in good spirits and returned to the property in Tavistock Gardens at around 5:30pm.

A neighbour reported hearing men shouting at the address at around midnight on January 10, 2021. Doorbell footage recovered from a neighbouring property picked up the sound of a disturbance which lasted around 20 minutes.

Laliashvili then left the property, leaving both men with serious injuries.

The alarm was raised when Dainius’ girlfriend returned home at around 04:20am and found the men covered in blood.

At around 03:30am on January 12, 2021, Laliashvili was arrested at a property in Essex Road, Islington, and taken into custody.

The same morning, following a review of CCTV and phone data, officers recovered his blood-stained clothes from a bin in Wigston Road Plaistow. Blood from both victims was found on the clothing.

The evidence gathered against Laliashvili was overwhelming resulting in him being charged with two counts of murder on the day of his arrest.

Detective Chief Inspector Kelly Allen, who led the investigation, said: “Laliashvili subjected his two friends to a frenzied and murderous attack. We can only imagine the rage behind it.

“The victim’s families now face the unenviable task of trying to come to terms with their loss.

“I am pleased that our work has resulted in a dangerous man being convicted. It is wholly right that he will now spend a considerable time in prison.”

Mick Ferris

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