The friend of a woman who was killed and dismembered by her jealous boyfriend said her face looked like a ‘rotten apple’ because she had been beaten so badly in the weeks before her death.
Vitautas Jokubauskas, 57, allegedly murdered Ramute Butkiene, 42, at his home in Mayor’s Walk, Peterborough, after strangling her with the cord from her dressing gown.
The Lithuanian meat factory worker killed mother-of-one Ms Butkiene after accusing her of seeing another man, then used his butchery skills to dismember her corpse, Southwark Crown Court has heard.
He then watched war films on his laptop and drank whisky with her torso stuffed into a suitcase in the same room, before burying her body parts in nearby woods.
Yolanda Tarailiene, a friend of 10 years, said she visited Ms Butkiene just weeks before she died: “When I visited her she looked like she had been beaten up.”
Ms Tarailiene told the court: “Her face looked so bad I had never seen anything like that before.
“When I visited her she looked like she had been beaten up.
“She was very blue and beaten up, she looked like a rotten apple.”
Jokubauskus tried to cover up the killing by cutting off her head and throwing it into the River Nene before burying her arms and legs in wooded areas of Peterborough.
He later told detectives ‘I am a killer’ then said in interview he had strangled his girlfriend ‘just a little’ after asking her not to leave him so she would know he ‘wasn’t joking’.
Jokubauskus went on the run sleeping rough after butchering his girlfriend in attempt to avoid capture by the police.
Ms Butkiene’s former boyfriend Adam Yedrzeyewski, a butcher who lives above a butcher’s shop on the same road as the flat she lived in, told the court he got a frantic call from her the night she died.
He said: “She called me at about 9pm or 10pm and during the call she was not crying but she sounded scared, that was the impression I got, she didn’t sound drunk.”
Raivis Zamors, 20, who rented in a room in the same house as Vytautus Jokubauskus, said the killer was rarely without a beer in his hand.
Mr Zamors told the court: “He was always drinking, I always saw him with a beer in his hand and he was usually drinking in his bedroom.”
He said he saw Ramute Butkiene leave the house on the night it is believed Jokubauskus killed and dismembered her.
Mr Zamors said: “I saw her leave the house and walk towards the shops, her hair was wet and she was wearing her dressing gown at around 9pm.
“I thought it was strange because nobody goes to the shop like that. Then I saw Vytautus come and take her back inside.”
A work colleague of Jokubauskus told the court how he went to help another man move out of the property on Mayors Walk only to make the grim discovery of Ramute’s decomposing torso.
Viktor Svetlitsni said: “We managed to force the locked door open and there was a suitcase near the entrance to the room which we nearly tripped over.
“We opened the zip and when that happened I noticed what looked like a black rubbish bag inside and an unpleasant smell from inside.”
The police were called and Jokubauskus was arrested days later.
Jokubauskas, of Mayor’s Walk, Peterborough, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and preventing a burial of a corpse but denies murder.
The trial continues