Cambridgeshire kills jailer after killing father of woman who briefly turned him into drug trafficker

Yanick Beresford

Yanick Beresford, 25, realized he had been paid just £ 10 for drugs worth £ 230 after meeting a woman in Sandwich Close, Huntingdon, on 5 October 2019.

The drug deal took place and the woman handed him the money before getting back in a car driven by her friend and returning home to Offord Cluny.

Later that night, the father of the woman who had underpaid Beresford, Robert Duquemin, heard a buzz at his door in Percy Green Place, Huntingdon.

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Robert duquemin

He opened the door and thought it was his daughter, but shortly after, a man with his face covered attacked him but did not say a word.

Duquemin was beaten in the head and body during the attack. The severity of the blows forced him against his neighbor’s door frame and caused him to fall to the floor.

His daughter told officers that Beresford knew where her father, Mr Duquemin, lived and believed Beresford was attacking him in retaliation for the drug deal that went wrong.

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 equipment. A damp t-shirt and a pair of gloves were also found in the washing machine.

Aiste Paulauskaite

Both were sent for forensic examinations and blood that had seeped into the gloves was found to be Mr Duquemins.

Beresford was arrested shortly after midnight on October 7, but answered “no comment” to the majority’s questions asked by officers.

Paulauskaite was arrested and interviewed, admitting that she picked up Beresford on October 5 and drove him to and away from Mr Duquemin’s road, but refused to know what he had done while he was there.

She also gave police access to her old phone, which had a SIM card belonging to Beresford and revealed evidence of drug trafficking.

An additional phone seized from Beresford provided a trace of his movements on the day Mr Duquemin was attacked, including placing him in the man’s home and subsequently making further drug trafficking.

Investigations also revealed that on October 6, the day after the drug deal and the attack, Beresford had used the phone to look up Mr Duquemin’s family on Facebook and also searched for defense lawyers and the term ‘Huntingdonshire police’.

Duquemin, 53, died at a house in Ringwood Close, Bury, Ramsey, on October 10, following the attack five days earlier. An autopsy concluded that he died of a ruptured spleen as a result of blunt force trauma.

Beresford was interviewed after Mr Duquemin’s death and answered “no comment” on all questions except for a single occasion. When he told about gloves found in his girlfriend’s washing machine, he reacted visibly, looked uncomfortable and said, “They were not washed”.

Beresford and Paulauskaite stood trial at Peterborough Crown Court on September 20, and on October 18, jurors handed down their sentences.

Beresford was found guilty of murder and had previously pleaded guilty to supplying Class A and B drugs.

Paulauskaite, 21, was found guilty of helping a perpetrator. She had previously admitted that she was concerned about the supply of Class A and B drugs and having distorted the justice system.

Both were convicted in the same court today (November 15), with Beresford sentenced to a total of 15 years in prison and Paulauskaite sentenced to two years behind bars.

Simon Spence, conciliator for Beresford, said his client was still a young man who had to spend many years in custody. He said 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 while he is serving his sentence.”

Phillip Farr, Paulauskaite’s conciliator, ordered Judge Sean Enright to suspend his prison sentence.

He added: “Character references and before the judgment report for my client highlight the fact that this is a young woman who has made a number of bad life choices, rather than someone who would willingly and desirably embark on a criminal lifestyle.

“This is a young woman who displayed unparalleled bravery by making sure she told the truth and made a life-changing decision in the middle of the trial that could have only been to her detriment.”

Judge Sean Enright told Beresford he had been an “established” drug dealer for many years who had a “thriving” drug business.

He added: “Your victim was a fragile man, at nine stones and 5 ft 4, and with mental health problems. You knew that, and you knew he lived alone.”

Judge Enright said in sentencing Paulauskaite that he knew Beresford had been her first boyfriend and that he had involved her in his drug business by asking for elevators, storing drugs in her home and “normalizing” this behavior.

Judge Enright pointed out that Paulauskaite believed that Beresford had only inflicted ABH-level injuries when she drove him away from the attack and that he had seen what effect it had had on her to see the pictures of Mr Duquemin’s injuries during the trial.

He told her that he did not accept that she had washed Beresford’s clothes, and questioned whether this was in fact Beresford himself. Despite all the above, he said that only an immediate custodial sentence was appropriate.

Judge Enright also praised Detective Simon Oldfield and DC Colin Richardson for their work during the murder investigation.

Detective Emma Pitts of the Beds, Cambs and Herts Major Crime Unit said: “Robert was the father of five and his family has been devastated by his death.

“Beresford attacked him violently in his own home, all because of a drug deal that went wrong. Drugs cause misery for communities and are often the catalyst for more serious crimes; this case is a stark reminder of this fact.

“My thoughts and deepest sympathies remain with Robert’s loved ones, and I only hope that this can give them some degree of completion when they learn to live with their losses.”

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